The regular rosary bead counters patrolled clinic perimeters as usual. Women, accompanied by loved ones, came and went as endearments like “murderer” and “baby killer” rained down on them while screamers also record patient, staff and doctor’s license plate numbers. Cruelty like this makes me more resolved than ever to advocate on behalf of women’s reproductive justice. The crowd halted when police came to check a suspicious car. No bomb. Whew. The car was towed and we resumed our posts. I felt David-like, facing down a band of Goliaths on my own. Who says one person can’t make a difference?
I pissed off bosses at three colleges each time I told my students that college degrees don’t make writers. Case in point: Maya Angelou. She didn’t attend college, yet carved out a stellar literary career. Raped at age seven, the experience so traumatized her, she didn’t speak for six years. Angelou did what those of us who live through horrific experiences do: She crawled inside her head and started storytelling to ease the pain. I hope Maya found a typewriter awaiting her at the pearly gates this week. Her writing and life story are inspiring: life makes writers, not degrees.
Jenn said she thought I got the best photos ever of my cats, but she has no idea what a photo stalker like me goes through to get those candid moments. I’ve learned the importance of living life with a camera at the ready over decades. You might say I was photo bombing cats long before it became trendy. Yet I often hear Tuna and Dreamsicle groan when the camera appears. “Whomever buys the Iams is entitled to be a pain in the ass,” I remind them. Tuna’s expression says he’s not buyin’ it. Let’s just call it a standoff.
I’ve gotta get a gift now that the Kimyes are wed! Rumor has it they considered refusing the media rights to the multi-million dollar production–until Mama Kris said, “Are you two crazy?” But, back to my gift dilemma. Kim’s got lots of pots, pans and towels from past nuptials and has no bridal registry. I’m sure Bed, Bath and Beyond would happily post their picks, but in the interim, the pillows above are my first choice. If the marriage goes south, I’ll save the idea alongside gifts I picked for weddings #1 and #2. Kim’s saving me a bundle!
After a failed Chase re-fi attempt back in 2012, I’m at it again, gathering stacks of documents the lender requested to re-start the process. I call my “representative” to ask if anything that’s not on their list is required. Rather than expressing thanks for my efficiency, she got snippy. Now, I know I’m home. Same crappy treatment two years later. Two weeks pass before I’m advised that papers they didn’t ask for are missing. My application is again in limbo. http://www.consumeraffairs.com/finance/chase_mortgage.html is now my daily read. Once the danger of stroking out passes, I plan to add my two cents.
Chip Bergh, Levis’ CEO, recently went on a brand media tour wearing unwashed jeans. “I know,” he admitted. “Sounds disgusting.” But Bergh told Elle he’s adopted the practice to save water, typically wearing a pair for a year–occasionally sticking them in the freezer to kill bacteria. I thought that the reason jeans were invented had to do with producing a textile specifically for dirty work? I’ll ask questions of Bergh if we ever meet; I want to know if his confession is a media ploy or a creative excuse made by a guy forced to do his own laundry.
If I’m to criticize the Koch brothers, I must know their history, so while I await word from the library that Sons of Wichita is ready for pickup, I scanned book reviews. While browsing book snippets I was appalled: All four Koch brothers were raised on Dad Fred’s admiration for Hitler, Mussolini and Hirohito; he encouraged his sons to fight each other. David still bears scars from the polo mallet-beating his twin delivered. While eldest son Freddie was heir apparent, when his father learned he was gay, he set his ambitions on Charles. And you thought your family was deplorable?
I admit it. I decorate areas within my condo that my cats frequent–an example of which appears above. I assume Tuna and Dreamsicle appreciate decorative enhancements undertaken at their pooping, dining and slurping environs. Such touches show I’m as concerned about their sensibilities as I am about litter depth, water cleanliness and food quality. You’re shaking your head. I get it. You think my mind is on permanent vacation, but I believe that life wouldn’t be worth living without sprucing up my home. If I must lie on the floor in order to add decorative touches, so be it.
I learn more and more about the extent to which prayerful folks showing up at women’s clinics are willing to go to frighten and put the fear of God into women seeking pregnancy terminations. A “Prayer warrior” followed my car and likely recorded my license plate. Rather than scare me, my “tail” heightened my commitment to women’s reproductive rights. I’ll never understand how anyone can believe they have the right to make decisions for others. I’m proud to volunteer as a clinic escort and I’m not intimidated. All women get to decide for themselves whether motherhood is for them. Amen.
Julie and I paid forward our good fortune by volunteering at a charity resale shop for 6 months. We merchandised, tidied, reorganized and offered instruction in store staging—the art of morphing random furniture pieces into harmonious room vignettes. We were admired but not emulated, so when we knew we had met our personal obligations and that it was time to move on, we felt satisfied. The biggest experience take-away? Acknowledging how critical gut checks can be. Instinct is too often left out of decision-making processes, which may be why illnesses like buyer’s remorse are rarely cured in this society.