It’s catch up time, and I’ve got a few things on my mind:
If it were Monday, I’d speak of motherhood. Have you seen the new Toyota Venza commercial? It makes fun of the younger set by juxtaposing social media screen time with grown-ups actually out in the world being social. A friend of mine told a story over the weekend of her husband leading a class of youngsters (in Bible study?) and telling them about the small wonders he and his wife observe on their nightly walks, like watching a mama bird feed her young. “Okay,” he said to the kids, “tell us something interesting you saw this week.” Hands shot up. “Well, on YouTube…” You get the picture. There’s not enough “leaving the house” as there used to be. When Goldie is spending too much time on the computer, video chatting with friends, I encourage her to have them over – literally, have them physically over to the house. It’s a concept that just one year ago wasn’t so foreign, but now to her seems a waste of precious time. Well, then. The Toyota commercial, my friend’s story, and her recent behavior have inspired me to force her out of the house more, even if it’s just to come with me when I walk the dogs. Fortunately, she’s into volleyball of late so we’re bumping and setting in the front yard, but I can do more. I’m not sure anything bad came of “Go outside!” as our mothers asked us so simply. Particularly here in Southern California where going outside is always an option, I’d encourage parents everywhere to keep this in mind.
If it were Tuesday, my “take” would be something about this past weekend with four of my high school classmates and how important it is to have old friends – and by “old” I mean long-time. We celebrated ten years of getting away together annually and my guess is that we’ll toast twenty and thirty more. The five of us are scattered – the furthest being from Texas – and just different enough to make it interesting. In the Santa Barbara salon where we were all enjoying manis and pedis (except for me when the nice Asian lady snipped my toe along with the nail and then tried unsuccessfully to staunch the blood while simultaneously continuing on with my nine other piggies trying to quiet my complaining so she wouldn’t lose her job, as her suspicious and angry-looking boss peered over trying to assess the situation), a very fit-looking gentleman, confidant of his manliness while having his feet buffed, offered to take our picture. He encouraged us to bask in our loveliness and luck, for having each other and a friendship that endures. So to this I say, pick up the phone, head on over to Facebook, or find that old friend’s email, and get in touch. We don’t think we have time for more friends or new friends, but that’s the beauty of “old” friends. Generally, you pick up where you left off. Next thing you know, you’re finding room once again in your heart, if not your day-to-day life.
So now it’s Wednesday, and I’m full to the brim with thoughts of President Obama, the jobs crisis, our ginormous deficit, and the attitudes we have as a country in dealing with it all.
Obama’s time in office has not met our expectations so far because where we wanted leadership and passion, he’s given us too much compliance. In Hillary, I saw an anger that I thought could serve us well in terms of momentum. She does not appear to suffer fools gladly or at all, and the predicament we were/are facing required drastic, bold measures I believed she’d implement, not the sometimes half-baked approach for which the president has opted. However, two weeks ago, Obama got angry in his speech to Congress, laying out his plan to get the country back on track and back to work, and if I were to take an informal poll and ask my friends what they’ve heard since then, I’d bet they’d say they’ve heard Republicans.
To no one’s surprise, the GOP has shat upon Obama’s American Jobs Act and offered little alternative. But here’s the thing: we’ve got a problem on our hands that doesn’t go away because the Republicans say Obama can’t fix it. Understand? It’s a problem. There’s a solution. It’s not terminal cancer. It’s numbers. We cut big, we cut small, within the government, in order to shift that money toward job-creation in the form of incentives and, yes, more stimulus (stimuli?) via investments in infrastructure, so that people go back to work and then spend those paychecks within our economy. And yes, we ask the wealthy to pay more. Is it easy? Absolutely not. Is it simple? More than you think. Does it require sacrifice? How can it not? It also requires execution, not Republican prevention. There should be no place in our leadership for the likes of Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell, who boldly told the National Journal a year ago: “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”
You see, I’m angry. A whole bunch of us are. How is it that it was only yesterday that homosexuals could serve openly in the military? Individuals who volunteered to be in the service of our country? There’s a better way, and me and you being polite and compliant while many of our Republicans leaders are pushy and loud (not Republicans in general – I actually like a bunch of them), isn’t going to cut it anymore. My friend and her partner have been together 25 years while her siblings have all been married and divorced. Gays should be allowed to marry. Public schools should not have thirty-three kids in a classroom. Automatic weapons should be illegal. (Don’t even start on the 2nd Amendment.) Committing our troops to war should not be based on ridiculously flimsy intelligence. Our economic situation MUST be addressed.
I don’t know where I get off. Maybe that’s it. I don’t. I stay on and realize I’m surrounded by like-minds, by Adam Klugman, by all those who write letters and speak out and run for office and suddenly say, “Wait a minute. This isn’t okay with me,” and use their anger in the service of change.