As a wanna-be columnist and blogger, I like comments. There, I’ve admitted it. I like comments. (Hello, person who likes comments.) They are our bread and butter, sort of the old acknowledgement, the clue that no, Virginia, it ain’t just you pecking away with one finger at the keyboard with the mongrels by your side and a cup of chamomile on the table.
Maybe it is a longing for the old days when I would intentionally bug my younger sister, she would call me an idiot, and I would start laughing and get in trouble. Even so, it never wore thin and in fact emboldened my nine year-old spirit. I think that my origins in wanting to write columns and bug people came from that. It’s all so Freudian and Zen that even I don’t get it.
So, based on my dealings with my sister, I thought that I would be pleased when someone called me an idiot over a column, but when it happened and a reader called me a “moron” and the letter appeared in the paper, I was incensed and even taken aback. ‘ Why would someone call me a moron?’ I wondered, ‘when I know I am right?’
The problem is that when no one comments, I wonder why not, and when they do, I wonder why they wrote that. (Let’s not mince any words here, there is something Freudian and Zen-like about that, too.)
Then several weeks ago, and I am now ready to talk about it, some hauled off for insinuating, yes, based on a movie, that Queen Elizabeth I, may have been less than nun-like. You would think I laughed at King Arthur or Buckingham Palace or something.
So as a method of damage control, I am going to list some comments that are acceptable. If you can’t cut and paste them into your browser, then just refer to them by number, and I will figure out the rest.
1. Whoever said you are an idiot, is the true idiot.
2. You are a moron like I am a casino operator.
3. You are so funny I nearly split my pants laughing.
4. You are the best thing to hit the planet since sliced bread.
5. All roses and stars in the sky pale in comparison to you.
6. I would like to fork over all my money and polo ponies to you.
7. All of the above
It’s called being straightforward and direct, and I feel better just getting it off my chest. Thank you, amen and over and out.
Talk about missing a cerebral cortex. Jacquetta Simmons, 26, punched 70 year-old Walmart greeter, Grace Suozzi, in the face after the Walmart employee asked to see a copy of Simmons’ sales receipt upon exiting the New York store with some purchases. Rather than produce the receipt, as one with a fully developed and functioning hypothalamus would do, Simmons, who is built like Muhammed Ali in his prime fighting days, punched the Walmart employee in the face and fled.
The good Samaritan shoppers and employees followed her and surrounded her until the police arrived. Hopefully, she won’t get help from Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton because I don’t think I could stand for another round of tales of oppression, discrimination and racism when I have my own problems and a crazy bank to contend with.
Maybe I should be shock-proof after all these years of teaching and living in a big city, but I am not. Though some of the postings on the message boards indicate what I have been thinking all along; that we are just too easy and soft.
Susan C Mulrooney Eagle wrote, and I’m quoting verbatim because if I wrote something like this, I’d expect someone to confiscate my computer.
“For the record Walmart’s police on asking to see your receipt is VOLUNTARY per corporate, I had a similar situation at a local Walmart I was asked to see my receipt I politely refused and started towards the dor I was then assaulted by the Walmart Greeter I showed great restraint in not assaulting her back the video tape was revied by the store manager, corporates attorneys and the employee was terminated. If you have no problem being accused everytime you go into a wa Walmart then go ahead stop & show your receipt to the greeter.”
Perhaps Miss Mulrooney should shop online if she can’t abide by the store’s policies and make more room for the rest of us who understand the reasons behind them.
Or this little ditty from Danielgomez4:
“If you paid for it its yours it don’t belong to walmart anymore I never show my receipts anymore an if you touch me your asking for it you could get maced or hurt so if walmart wants to see a receipt you need to arrest them.”
Yeah, arrest them. What a grand idea. If he had spent half as much time paying attention in school as he did posting on message boards, then he may be able to write better than the average kindergartner.
And Sultry wrote:
“If a shopping trip or social outing turned to people making false accusations against me, I would let my lawyers throw a knock out punch in court.”
Are you referring to the defense lawyers the state assigned for criminal court?
Many others tried turning it into a discrimination issue, which it is. Simmons, who is black, discriminated with a white woman old enough to be her grandmother and who is probably working at the only job she could get because she needs the money.
Hopefully, some smart and ethical lawyer will come knocking on Grace Suozzi’s door so she can sue both Simmons and the store. And maybe Walmart will smarten up and hire beefy security guards or veterans to stand at the door. As for me, I’m going to start a petition to send the zombies and cretins to Somalia or to some other war zone to gight the enemy. That ought to make the rebels retreat real quickly. If it doesn’t pass, I’ll move there myself. It might be saner.
As an MOT, AKA a member of the tribe, of the Hebrew persuasion, a Jew, I’m probably not supposed to admit this, but I like Christmas. I like the lights and the decorations, the chill in the air, the candy canes and the general holiday spirit. But I have never celebrated it and don’t intend to. There are no trees with tinsel and lights in my house, no presents under a tree and no goose in the oven. In fact, if I opened the door and found a tree in my living room, I’d either think I’d been punk’d or that I was in the wrong house. Then I’d haul it outside.
Though I never felt short shifted because we had other things growing up. At Hanukkah time, we’d usually go to my great-grandparents’ apartment where we’d get plastic dreidels with Hebrew letters symbolizing the holiday on the outside and gold covered chocolate coins on the inside, and I’d spin the dreidl after emptying it of the chocolates. And we’d light the menorah and eat potato pancakes. I never felt cheated or short shifted even though I knew that other kids had presents under a tree and wreaths on their door, though my mother did let us hang store-bought stockings filled with toys on a bathroom cabinet.
But that doesn’t mean that I can’t appreciate what is someone else’s, and I have no problem wishing others a Merry Christmas because there is something so generic and whitewashed, so politically correct about wishing someone a Happy Holiday. It’s like only being allowed white bread when there is wheat and challah and rye. If I get wished a Merry Christmas back, I simply say that I celebrate Hanukkah, and then I get wished that. After all, isn’t that what it is about, appreciating what is yours and respecting what is another’s?
Mother Theresa. I’m aware that she wasn’t a mother, but she tops the list because she was humble and kind, didn’t mind letting others bask in limelight and wasn’t a total goody-goody. Her diary revealed that in some of her more somber moments that even she questioned the existence of a Supreme Being. Now if that isn’t integrity, I don’t know what is. She also fed the hungry and was interested in more than her own stomach. And believe me, I’ve met some nuns that would have given lobbyists a run for their money.
Marge Simpson. She got the nomination because she is kind, she had a sense of humor, she is assertive and never completely loses her cool. She also embraces her individuality and is probably the only mother out there with blue hair.
Sister Barbara Louise, an Episcopalian nun friend of mine who wasn’t a mother, either, but was as nurturing as a mother should be. She listened when I’d come to her with one thing or another and often gave sane, rational advice, not always but enough of the time. Besides, her good listening made up for any advice foul ups.
It all goes to show that you don’t have to be a mother to be a mother but that anyone can be one if enough time, effort and concern are put into it. Thank you, amen and over and out.
Even during the darkest, most crazy times, there is always something to be thankful for. Even in the sadness of loss, we can always be thankful for having known that person, even through the tears.
Even me. I am thankful for my life, for second chances, for do-overs and the chance to start over again.
I am thankful to my parents for bringing me into this world where I can find my purpose and for taking care of me and providing for me when I was growing up, for buying me those silly Halloween costumes with masks, for sending me to college, to my father for teaching me to drive while maintaining your calm and composure and for throwing me all those birthday parties.
I am thankful to Sister Barbara for listening to me and encouraging me, to Jack for helping me when I barely had a dime to my name, to Pam for offering to pick me up at the airport when I came to Chicago and for offering to help me on my flight back, if there wasn’t a hidden motive there, to Karen for being my friend. I wish you were still here. To Mariel, my editor at the Los Angeles Daily News for asking me to blog for them a few years ago. It’s been a fun ride, to Niki at the Area Wide News for supporting me and for her graciousness and humor and to many more.
Even though it’s harder to say and much harder to see, in ways I am thankful to those who have been utter skanks to me and have thrown me curve balls in one way or another. Through them, I have learned that some things aren’t a function of me; they are a function of them and that their snarkiness, ill will and general all-around lousy humor are a function of who they are rather than what I am. It’s been a hard lesson, and in the end, I thank them.
We all have a list of things that we can gripe about, and if I could unveil mine, it would be longer than a phone book of these United States, but even though it is hard, life goes down more smoothly when we view it with an air of gratitude and thanks because things happen how they are supposed to and for the best even if it may not seem so at the time. Happy, Happy, Merry, Merry.
My, my. What politicians won’t do to each other during election time. It would make a war zone look like a yoga retreat.
The fact is that GOP hopeful Newt Gingrich did hug Yasser Arafat, but then Prime Minister of Israel, Yitzhak Rabin, shook hands with him at the Oslo Accords. Does that mean that he would have done the same now if both were alive. Not at all.
The truth about Gingrich is that the man has more skeletons in his closet that a biology professor at Yale. We know that he did the down and dirty by serving his wife with divorce papers when she was in the hospital with cancer. We know that self-discipline and self-control were never his nicknames unless someone was being sarcastic, and we know that he would get nominated for Miss Congeniality in a beauty pageant.
But given how things have played out in this country, we may not need that. I like that he called Palestinians terrorists because that’s what those who lob rockets and grenades at children and civilians are. I liked it when he said that the Palestinians are invented people, because before 1968, they were just your garden-variety hostile Arabs. And I like a politician who has the temerity to tell it like it is. He may be just what we need in these times.
It’s that time of year, time for the Worst Mothers Maybe of All Times Award, at least up until now. And the two nominees are:
Queen Elizabeth the First. No disrespect to the English people or anything, but I wasn’t aware of what a rapscallion the ginger-haired Queen of England was until I wacyhed the movie “Anonymous” starring Rhys Ifans as Edward de Vere, the Earl of Oxford and Vanessa Redgrave as Queen Elizabeth I.The movie centers on an oft-heard debate in English literature, who was Shakespeare? Was he an actor, who could read but barely write and had trouble signing his name, barring that maybe he had psoriasis and eczema on the hands, or was it Earl of Oxford, Edward de Vere? The movie points to de Vere, and I agree for these reasons.
a.) Although one of the most prolific writers in the English language with 154 sonnets and 37 plays, “Shakespeare” could barely sign his name, which, barring any eczema, would be odd for someone who was so prolific in a time before typewriters and computers.
b.) Some of Shakespeare’s plays were about royalty. De Vere was an earl while “Shakespeare” was an actor who didn’t hobnob and socialize with that set. He was never invited to one of their weddings, baptisms, bar mitzvahs, etc.
c.) Some of his plays were set in foreign lands, but “Shakespeare” had never been outside of England. De Vere, on the other hand, was well-traveled.
d.) Most writers write about what they know best, themselves. “Shakespeare’s” son died, but he never wrote anything about this. The son of one of his contemporaries, Ben Johnson, died, and Johnson wrote a play about it.
e.) Nowhere in the bard’s will is mention made of his work and what to do with them, which is highly unusual for someone who had such a well-received oeuvre.Alas, England’s puritanical society in that era considered plays and sonnets to be the work of the devil, even though Elizabeth I often attended the theatre and thought that plays were a hoot. Besides, de Vere would have been labeled a heretic and lost his earldom if he took credit for writing anything other than a letter or two or his own name.
But I digress. Allegedly, a really bad mother came from that era, which was Queen Elizabeth I herself. Based on what I saw in the film, she had a spitfire temper, so it appears that she may have had bipolar disorder, as that can happen when the gene pool gets restricted. And let’s face it, back then the royal gene pool was barely the size of the English Channel. They either married their second cousin twice removed, or the earl or duke or duchess of something or forget it, so they smiled through pursed lips and sucked it up to keep everything going. The results and some of their offspring have been somewhat dicey, hemophiliacs, people who make bad decisions, and in this case, at least, a mood swing disorder that was out the yin-yang. Or her truss was too tight.
Elizabeth had many affairs (extreme randiness is another sign of a mood swing disorder) and several kids with different fathers. Whilst middle-aged and way past childbearing years, and we all know what THAT can do to a woman’s endocrine system, she thought that two of her sons wanted to depose her, so she ordered their heads to be cut off. It happened to one of them, but Edward de Vere saved the son he had with her and probably chalked up to the change of life because Freud hadn’t been born yet and no one knew about bipolar disorder.
While what her sons may have plotted was disrespectful, if true, it’s too bad she didn’t sit down with them like a good mother would and talk to them calmly and rationally about what’s going on. It’s too bad they didn’t have any child welfare agencies back then or at least some psychology books because then history might have played out differently. But she is my first choice.
The second nominee, in my Midwestern woman’s opinion, is Edda Mellas, the stepmother of formerly convicted murderess, Amanda Knox, who was paroled from an Italian prison after the family waged a one million dollar PR campaign. Most parents don’t expect perfection from their children, but the family seemed to sidestep portions of Amanda’s diary containing entries about how she likes sex and drugs. Had that been me, my mother would have showed up to the precinct with a rolling pin in her purse, and it wouldn’t have been to make pies for the captain, either. And that’s probably why I never got in any major trouble and have a good credit rating.
But not Edda Mellas and Curt Knox. After a day where the convicted killer, Rudy Guede, said that Knox and her then-boyfriend, Rafaele Sollecito were in on it, Mellas told the press that they didn’t know the real Amanda. Au contraire.
This is the type of parent who could see a video of her child making a bomb and find notebooks of directions for places to detonate it but would excuse it by saying what a keen scientific mind her child has and admire the penmanship in the books, the logic of it all and the attention to detail.
A woman I used to work with, a mother herself, said that all women should have a little computer chip placed inside their reproductive system that only gets activated if they pass a parenting exam. That one should be on the ballots.