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language, musings, politics

“Chickenshot…”

It’s amazing how quickly things can change. Looking at memories on Facebook is a reminder of how, in just a year’s time, our focus can shift. A year ago, people were up in arms about people in cages at the southern border of the United States. I was in Sweden with Bill, and we were going to pick up our brand new Volvo. Meanwhile, we spent a couple of heavenly nights at Gothenburg’s best hotel, the Upper House.

This year, we’re contemplating a quick weekend away in Gerolstein, a place two hours from us in the next state. It’s known for its mineral water, which I used to buy when we lived in North Carolina. It’s not Sweden, but I’ve been wanting to go there for years. And now that we live somewhat close and have a good reason not to travel far, it makes sense to consider a trip there.

Anyway… this topic comes up because as I was looking at my old memories, I ran across an epic argument I had three years ago about an ad the NRA had put out that was pro Trump. As of this writing, it’s still available.

She’s easy on the eyes as she spits out how evil liberals are…

As I watched this NRA ad again in 2020, it does seem oddly predictive. There have been a hell of a lot of protests lately, some of which have gotten violent. She seems to think the answer to this is a police state and everyone armed to the teeth, even though Trump is unraveling more and more by the day. It’s disturbing to watch him disintegrate. He’s supposed to be a leader, but I expect him to collapse and go into a fetal position any day now, a la Jim Bakker back in 1989 as he was convicted of fraud and sent to prison. Jim Bakker was initially sentenced to 45 years behind bars, but was paroled after almost five. You can now find him on YouTube, eagerly peddling doomsday “food” slop in buckets and stumping for Donald Trump.

This is an entertaining and disturbing video.

The NRA ad attracted a number of comments from my friends, including one of my conservative cousins (and I have a whole lot of conservative cousins). My cousin Timmy (not his real name) had to chime in on the NRA. Timmy is a dedicated gun owner and gun rights proponent. Despite having been arrested a time or two when he was younger and wilder, he’s very much in favor of the police. And yet, despite all of this bad-assery, my dear cousin will no longer say the word “shit”.

I’m not sure exactly how or why this change came about. I know he used to drink a lot. In fact, he is partly responsible for my very first drunken episode when I was fifteen, because he kept giving me bourbon and Cokes at a family party. I remember getting very sick in my hotel room… It was definitely not my finest hour. But I was a teenager at the time, while he was an adult. I later heard that alcohol had caused Timmy a lot of problems and he had finally sobered up. Now he’s exchanged booze for conservatism, legalism, and religion. And he won’t say “shit” anymore, probably because he thinks it offends God. Instead of “chickenshit”, he says “chickenshot”. Instead of “bullshit”, he says “bullshot”.

I’m not Facebook friends with Timmy anymore, because we had one too many contentious arguments in which he became overbearing, snide, and insulting. It reminded me of dealing with my dad, who would similarly be rude and disrespectful when discussions didn’t go his way. Still, because we’re family, I run across his comments now and again on stuff shared by mutual family members who are also “friends”. I have noticed that he substitutes the word “shot” for “shit” quite often. I wonder why he does it and if he really thinks it makes a difference. Does God really care if you swear? Seems to me like God would have much bigger issues to deal with than someone who says the word “shit”. It’s silly, and it makes it hard for me to take him seriously. But anyway, here’s an example. Timmy told Bill that he’s a “Constitutional Libertarian”. Bill asked him to explain what he meant. This was his first response:

I can only define myself. As Jenny would say “who are you that I must explain who I am or what I believe”. 

Since you took the military service oath it shouldn’t be hard…and as an officer there should be “no gray areas”

Actually, I only said that to Timmy once, and it was after he’d been relentlessly badgering me about some argument we were having. I basically told him that I’m not obligated to explain anything to him just because he says so. Bill’s query was a lot more respectful, as they generally are. To his credit, Timmy recognized that, and wrote this response:

Actually Bill…my answer was chicken shot. Yes I believe in the US Constitution in the “originalism” sense. 

I know it’s next to impossible for it t be applied in that sense…yet it’s what I feel we should strive for. So many years have passed with gross overreaching from representatives and our federal government into our personal liberties. Members of congress could enact Article V… but appear scared to do so. 

You join the ranks of many that ask me to explain what I mean…for crying out loud it’s written in black and white. 

It wasn’t fully applied as written for many years. We’ve made progress to instill those liberties but have much more to make. 

It was snide and childish to respond the way I did earlier. I respect you, your differences, your wife, and the service you embrace for our country.

He eventually annoyed me so much that I posted this photo. His response was, “Very nice! Good thing you have a Masters degree Jenny [sic]”
To which I responded, “I have two of them, Timmy. :)” I don’t think he likes “uppity women” like me.

Later that same day, he decided to chime in on a discussion some of my friends and I were having about a mother who wanted to have her seven year old transgendered child sterilized and save some of her own eggs so that the child could later have children biologically related. He left this comment, basically revealing how he feels about people who adhere to Islam. I don’t think he’s remotely interested in understanding transgendered people and has simplified it to a “perversion” that, at the very least, requires intervention and correction by a psychiatrist. I don’t know much about transgendered people myself, but I do think it’s a real thing and people who are transgendered aren’t necessarily mentally ill anymore than cisgendered people are.

I guess I over simply things when “sorting”. To me the bathroom issue appears to be about “plumbing” and possibly being sexually or physically assaulted. 

The desired “comfort level” while relieving oneself in a public restroom…cannot be reasonably achieved. 

Knowing 20-200 individuals have sat (or stood) on the same toilet seat never comforts me. Not knowing their level of hygiene, nor the frequency of janitorial services…what sex they were doesn’t affect my comfort. 

Surely I’m not the only one who feels this way

When no one responded to that, he left a snide comment about “Sybil”. I guess he was referring to Sybil, who had multiple personalities and was the subject of a book and a movie? I asked him if he had anything of substance to add to the conversation or if he was just there to add snarky comments. He finally backed off… and if I recall correctly, it wasn’t much longer before I kicked him off my page.

Timmy doesn’t mind being snarky, dismissive, and rude when he comments, but he has a big problem with the word “shit”. And I imagine that if he heard the word “fuck” uttered in front of him, he might have a major meltdown. It’s too much to bear. Actually, it kind of makes me chuckle, because my dad was much like that. My dad HATED it when people swore. When he was angry, you might hear him say any manner of hateful things. He’d turn beet red and his veins would pop out. He was legitimately scary when he was like that. But– I never once heard him say the word “fuck”. I think I might have heard him say “shit” once or twice in my lifetime. He would say “damn” or “hell” on occasion, but it wasn’t very often. And he would often lecture me about my language, but y’all know I’m a potty mouth. I cuss a lot. I would rather cuss than become hateful or violent. I have not seen Timmy get violent, but I know he has been that way. He proudly carries firearms and I know he’s been arrested for being drunk and fighting in public. Timmy is also a very short man– even shorter than Bill is (and Bill is only 5’7″). I imagine a lot of this behavior stems from the fact that he’s short, and carrying a gun and being an asshole makes him feel better and more powerful about his lack of stature.

Another one of my cousins shared a laughable meme… laughable especially since the person who posted it didn’t even consult Google Translate when he added German… Behold:

JamesJim Lawrence is not my relative, but my relative shared this. I think Mr. Lawrence should speak only for himself instead of declaring that “most Americans” have disgust for people who take a knee when the National Anthem is being played. Moreover, if the Germans had taken over the United States– minus Hitler, anyway– we might be better off than we are right now. Germany is not doing too badly.

Well, it’s probably a good thing that I live so far away from “home”. I do feel pangs of sadness when I see how close some of my relatives are to each other. I feel kind of jealous when I see how some of my friends are close to their friends and relatives and how all of the “social distancing” has been a real hardship for them. It hasn’t been much of a hardship for me, since I live so far away and I can’t relate to a lot of my family members anymore anyway. They have written me off as a “chicken shot” liberal, even though I definitely don’t agree with all liberal ideas.

I just think that right now, the liberals are much more in touch with reality than the conservatives are, and they have policies that seem more humane. I’m also pissed off that the conservatives cursed us with Donald Trump, who, I’m sorry to say, is the worst president in United States history. Or, at least, that’s my opinion. I will admit I’m not an expert, and I understand that a lot of other presidents reportedly were even worse. But, at least in my lifetime, Trump is the worst by far. He doesn’t even pretend to be a leader. My cousin, Timmy, the self-proclaimed “Constitutional Libertarian”, didn’t even have the cojones to vote for the Libertarian POTUS candidate in 2016. Oddly enough, this liberal “chicken shot” and her husband, did…

Incidentally, I think I could be persuaded to buy some chicken shit… I hear it’s a good way to season your poultry.

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fake news, politicians, politics, Trump

Uhhh… no, Trump isn’t a humanitarian.

I recently came across the photo below.

Yet another “gem” shared on Facebook about Trump’s alleged philanthropy…

I was curious about the photo. Clearly, in this picture, Trump is a much younger man. He’s standing next to two people who are now dead, Muhammad Ali and Rosa Parks. Both Muhammad Ali and Rosa Parks are well known for their work as black civil rights activists. Trump, puzzlingly enough, is NOT known for that kind of work, but the above photo implies that actually, he’s a real mensch. Somehow, thousands of people around the world have gotten it all wrong, and Trump is actually a humanitarian. What a shocker!

Well, I had to look up our man Trump, as see how it was that he got the Ellis Island Award back in 1986. Sure enough, he DID win this award. However, it was not because of his “work” with the black community. It was not for “patriotism, tolerance, brotherhood, and diversity.” And even if it was for those things, he’s clearly not demonstrating those qualities now.

So why did Trump win the Ellis Island Award? According to PolitiFact, a Web site that works to combat false information about politics by doing independent fact checking, Trump was awarded the prize in 1986, the first year it was given, because of his “professional contributions that benefited New York City as a developer, as well as for his German heritage.” PolitiFact staff members reached out to Otto Coca of the Ellis Island Honors Society, the group that administers the award. Mr. Coca explained that in the first year of the award’s history, “people were honored with the award for what they stood for more than what they did.” Mr. Trump was honored for his business accomplishments in New York City, rather than being an advocate for civil rights or promoting philanthropy.

Since 1986, the criteria for winning an Ellis Island Award has changed significantly. Recipients are now chosen for philanthropic efforts as well as other contributions. As for why Trump was photographed standing with Rosa Parks and Muhammad Ali? Well, it turns out that picture was taken during a ceremony that also included Joe DiMaggio, Victor Borge and Anita Bryant. The other recipients were cropped out of the photo used on Facebook, probably to promote the image that Trump was honored for the same reasons Rosa Parks and Muhammad Ali were and to give the impression that Trump is actually a humanitarian.

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you probably already know how I feel about false information, fake quotes, and other bullshit. Just a little while ago, someone shared this picture of Mark Twain, along with a quote that is apparently one of his…

Did Mark Twain really say this? Computer says “no”…

The above quote sounds like something Mark Twain might say. But I’m usually skeptical when I see these “wise quotes” nowadays, because so often, they turn out to be something someone else much less famous said for which they aren’t getting proper credit. Sure enough, when I searched for proof that this was a Twain original, I came across this article indicating that it’s not one of Twain’s sayings after all. One person commented that it “doesn’t matter” if it’s not from Twain. Maybe it doesn’t matter to her. Personally, I like to give credit where it’s due. That’s why when I see something that doesn’t pass the smell test, I like to look for answers and get the straight story.

The same person who shared the photo about Trump and his Ellis Island Award is also crowing support for the police. And I see that the person is also of the opinion that the COVID-19 pandemic is a hoax. I was very sad when I saw posts basically accusing world leaders of faking the virus as a means of duping regular citizens. Oh, I’m sure these posts are about Americans, but they may not be aware enough of the world outside of the United States to know that people around the world have been sickened and have died from the coronavirus. It’s truly counterintuitive for world leaders to shut down countries simply to influence an election. Many people have lost their livelihoods; that is true. However, livelihoods and experiences can be replaced. Lives cannot. When a person dies, that’s the end.

I am just as eager as anyone is for “normalcy”. I don’t think things have been “normal” since Donald Trump was “elected”. I don’t think they will get back to “normal” if he stays in power. And no misleading Facebook meme or impassioned post with a conservative bent is going to convince me that Donald Trump is actually a decent person and we’ve all gotten it wrong. Trump is an enemy to peace. It makes me sad that otherwise decent people have bought into Trump’s lies and are trying to convince other people that what is plainly obvious isn’t the truth.

In other news…

I’ve been practicing my guitar every day since early May. Yesterday, I discovered the capo. It really makes my guitar sound pretty. Bill is still working from home, so he’s heard my progress and pronounced it “good”. I still have a long way to go, but I’m definitely getting better at playing the guitar. If I come out of this COVID-19 ordeal having learned to play an instrument, that will be a win! Double points if I’m ever able to record a video of me playing and singing with my guitar. It could happen someday.

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narcissists, politicians, Trump

“Life is just one damned thing after another…”

A little mood music for this post… it seems kind of trite today, but I like the attitude.

Years ago, my older sister Becky played the above song for me. It’s called “Excuse Me”, and it was written and performed by Amy Arena, whose personality seems to be a lot like Becky’s. Much like Amy Arena, Becky is physically very small (much smaller than me), but she has a big personality… and an artistic temperament that people seem to love or hate. She has issues with authority figures. So do I, for that matter, but my authority issues aren’t as acute as hers are. I remember I was newly home from Armenia, and Becky told me she had this CD, which came out in 1995. We shared a hearty laugh over “Excuse Me”, which was enough of a hit that it actually has an official video. I was going to share the video, but only one person on YouTube uploaded it and it’s not of very good quality. But if you want to see it, you can search YouTube and there it is… and Amy Arena is there in all of her brash, bitter glory.

I liked “Excuse Me” enough that I went on Amazon and searched for Amy Arena’s album, which someone was selling used. I bought it and listened to the whole thing, which Becky had played for me when she first exposed me to “Excuse Me”. There’s another song on there called “Cheeseburger”. It reveals Amy Arena’s lack of singing prowess… although the lyrics are clever and funny. Becky doesn’t eat a lot of meat, so I know she relates to this song as it describes a vulgar cheeseburger in nauseating detail. Amy Arena is making a statement about how gross and out of control some people are… and how gross meat is if you don’t like meat. And frankly, I wish I weren’t a meat eater, because it is pretty gross. Maybe I’ll be a vegan in the next life. This bit doesn’t have anything to do with the theme of this post, other than to get the musically inclined to listen to Amy Arena’s cynical wit.

My sister is very petite and, if you don’t know her, you might think she’s cute, quiet, and shy. But get her going, and you’ll soon find out that there is a lot more than pussy in those “tight fittin’ jeans”. Bwahahahha… I’m kidding. Quoting my pervy friend, Weird Wilbur, whom I “met” on YouTube. Wilbur remade Conway Twitty’s song, “Tight Fittin’ Jeans” and turned it into a song about a man who gets more than he bargained for when he had casual sex with a woman he met at a bar. Becky doesn’t have any diseases that I know of, but she does have a quick wit and sharp mind, and she can be fierce if you tangle with her. I know this from experience. She’s tiny, but mighty, and you don’t want to fuck with her.

No, Becky isn’t like the “gal” in this song, except that she’s not what she seems… I can relate. I’m not what I seem to be, either. I’m sharing this song because I think it’s funny… but the truth is, there is always more than pussy in those tight fittin’ jeans. Not that I wear tight fittin’ jeans these days…

I suspect yesterday’s blog post, which I titled “We wish you would just leave”, might be considered “click bait” for some people. I can see by the stats that some people clicked it just because they wanted to know why I titled the post, “We wish you would just leave”. It’s a title that sounds dramatic, and I know I have some readers out there who imagine that I’m the type of person who gets asked to leave a lot of places. I suspect I have some readers who were even salivating at the idea, because some of them seem to think that I’m always the source of trouble. Some of them might even be hoping I’ll be asked to leave Germany. And here’s a hint… if that ever does happen, I’m probably not going to be telling you about it. Here’s another hint. You clearly don’t know me as well as you think you do, but I probably know you better than you realize.

The only time I remember specifically being asked to leave somewhere was back in the early 1990s, when I was about to be interviewed for a job with United Consumers Club. I was newly graduated from college and had no idea what UCC, as it was called back then, actually was. I watched the presentation given by the proprietor and was kind of shocked and horrified by it. Basically, the job entailed cozying up to people at events and trying to talk them into joining an incredibly overpriced building materials and furniture “club” under the guise of saving money by being allowed to buy things “wholesale”.

UCC might have been an okay deal if you’re doing many thousands of dollars worth of remodeling and buying a lot of furniture. For most people, though, it was a complete waste of money that came with a contract that was extremely expensive and difficult to get out of. If I had successfully gotten hired for this job, it would have been my duty to convince people to join up and waste their money. I think I’d rather clean up roadkill.

Well, the United Consumers Club proposal sounded a lot like bullshit to me, even though I was only 22 years old. So, being kind of blunt and feeling legitimately aghast, I asked the interviewer, who was also the owner of the franchise, if this was a “hard sell” operation. He immediately became offended and asked me to leave the interview. That reaction, of course, told me all I needed to know… I didn’t need his piss ant $22,000 a year job, anyway. 😉 It was clear he was expecting his prospective employee to kiss his ass and accept any abuse he threw at them as he swindled decent people out of their hard earned money. The fact that I boldly asked him if he was running a hard sell operation made him realize that I probably wouldn’t take his crap. He moved on to the next person, knowing that someone in the group would eagerly accept his shit for a few crumbs.

Yeah… bunch of bullshit, this is…

Years later, I was watching TV at home in northern Virginia, and an ad came on for an outfit called DirectBuy. I had never heard of DirectBuy, but the concept sounded familiar. I did some digging and discovered that DirectBuy was, in fact, the old UCC… and that until about 2007, UCC had prided itself on never advertising and only picking up members entirely by word of mouth. A lot of people fell for the hype and wound up locked in iron clad contracts that ripped them off for years. I began writing a bunch of articles about DirectBuy and got some nasty comments from people who didn’t want me to expose their business for what it really is.

Notice on the actual video at YouTube, a franchise owner tries to do damage control. He doesn’t like the light being shined on his sleazy business.
“It’s a hard sell pitch…” That was exactly what I asked the franchise owner in Richmond. His response was not to answer me, but to ask me to leave. I was “bad” for recognizing what he was up to and calling him on it.

There are a lot of bullies in the world who think they can get away with shit by being threatening, confrontational, accusatory, and shaming. In fact, there’s even an acronym for this type of behavior. It’s called DARVO. DARVO stands for deny, attack, reverse victim, and offender. I’ve seen it in action a lot of times. I suspect most of us have. When you run into a certain type of person and it becomes clear that you’re catching on to who they are and what they’re really about, they vehemently try to thwart your attempts to reveal them. They deny that they’re the problem, start attacking you, claim victim status, and suddenly you’re the bad guy. Most people are left bewildered and shocked after such a vicious reversal. Decent people will start to question themselves, wondering if they really did get it so wrong. But after awhile, it becomes even clearer that you’re not the asshole stinking things up here…

Even South Park has addressed DARVO.

If you want to see DARVO on a global scale, just watch the way Donald Trump behaves. He gets called on his egregious shit all the time. Not once have I ever heard him take responsibility for what was legitimately his mess to clean up. Instead, he blames someone else. Right now, according to Trump, it seems to be Barack Obama’s fault that the coronavirus crisis is so out of control in the United States. Trump is just a “victim” who inherited Obama’s mess. Yeah, right. Unfortunately, a lot of very stupid people believe wholeheartedly in Donald Trump and will defend him until their last gasps of breath… unaided by the ventilator that isn’t available to them because they listened to Donald Trump and conspiracy theorists instead of scientists and people who know something about medicine.

I guess this is still a thing… or at least it was before the coronavirus struck.

I’m suddenly reminded of something else that happened in college. A hypnotist came to campus to entertain everyone. Sure enough, he was very good at his job. He called up people to the stage and proceeded to put them under… but not everyone fell under his hypnotic spell. A few students were stage assistants to the hypnotist and if they noticed someone wasn’t falling for the act, the unmoved students were escorted off stage. That was done so that they didn’t ruin the show. In fact, the hypnotist did get one guy I knew to dance like a crazy person in front of all of his classmates. It was hysterical, and he was completely unaware of what he was doing at the time. Later, when people kidded him about it, he was pissed off and annoyed. But he’d volunteered to be hypnotized and he fell under the spell… and put on a hell of a show for his friends.

I think bullies of all kinds are sort of like hypnotists. They use their overbearing personalities and willingness to throw people under the bus to get what they want. They “hypnotize” people into thinking they’re stronger and more powerful than they really are. They rewrite history, and try to inflict guilt on decent people who attempt to hold them accountable, and reveal what and who they truly are by simply being themselves.

I make for a convenient scapegoat for some bullies, because a lot of people find me too outspoken and obnoxious. On my old blog, it was usually because I wrote frankly about my husband’s ex wife. On this one, it’s because I write about Donald Trump… and other bullies and abusers. Because I’m not a fan of “call out culture”, I don’t usually name names. But the guilty among us still don’t like it when I write about my honest impressions of things. I figure, the guiltier they are, the more vociferously they object and protest… and the more obsessively they stalk, rewrite history, and cover things up to make sure the narrative is to their liking.

Well… as Amy Arena sings, “Just excuse me. Excuse ME!” for being someone that not everyone likes. And excuse me for disappointing some of you because no one actually has justifiably asked me to “just leave”. You know why? Because I’m not the enemy. The people that Donald Trump blames for his daily failures and moral shortcomings aren’t the enemies, either. A lot of them are very decent people just trying to do the right thing. It’s not good to let greedy, arrogant, dishonest people get away with ripping off others. It’s easy to let things slide and not upset the apple cart. It’s a lot harder to call bullshit… and sometimes people act badly not because someone else deserves it, but because they’re greedy bullies who throw tantrums when they get held accountable.

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complaints

Coronavirus is bringing out the worst in people…

Every once in awhile, I have to stop and think about how weird life is compared to what it was like when I was younger. I think the Internet and social media have completely revolutionized the world, and not always in a good way.

Yesterday, someone shared this image, and it wound up on my timeline.

Not true.

I generally try to ignore stupid shit that people post, but given that coronavirus can be deadly to some people, I felt compelled to comment that what’s claimed in the above photo isn’t true. A friend of the original poster asked how I knew it wasn’t factual. Well, for one thing, I’ve studied public health and used to work for the Bureau of Epidemiology before I became the stalwart blogger that I am today, so I have a basic understanding of how diseases spread. For another, I checked a reputable source. In this case, it was Johns Hopkins University’s article on myths vs. facts regarding the virus. Finally, it’s just plain common sense. Gargling salt water might make you feel better, but it’s not going to kill coronavirus. If it were that easy, hospitals in Italy and China wouldn’t be overloaded with critical patients right now.

Next thing I knew, this “friend” had removed me from her friends list. It’s not really a big loss, though. She wasn’t someone I knew personally, although she’s friends with people from my dad’s side of the family and lives in my mom’s hometown. As a matter of fact, I was actually looking at her profile the other day, wondering how and why we ended up “friends” in the first place. In the days before social media, my friends were my friends– people that I actually knew and had spoken to in person. Nowadays, you can be friends with someone you’ll never see offline, and you might wind up connected to someone you don’t even particularly like that much.

I was feeling my oats last night, so I decided to post a general message to people who follow my personal Facebook page.

This got lots of likes and loves… and a couple of laughter reactions. People who know me personally know that I can be painfully blunt sometimes.

For the life of me, I don’t understand why people feel the need to spread stupidity on the Internet, especially when it involves health or safety. I agree that we don’t have to panic in the wake of the coronavirus drama currently going on, but people really do need legitimate facts about how not to spread the disease. You wouldn’t seriously consider going to a random man on the street for healthcare or legal advice, would you? And yet, people do this crap online all the time. They post bullshit like this…

I see it as less of a political issue than people not using their fucking brains.

People are being asked to stay home to lessen the chance that the virus will spread unabated. It’s true that many people who get coronavirus will be fine, even if they’re really sick for awhile. But there are also vulnerable people who will die or become permanently debilitated because of this virus. Healthcare workers are stretched to the limits trying to take care of the sickest people, and some of them are themselves getting sick. So, asking people to stay home isn’t about “government control”, it’s about containing a serious health threat. In some areas, there aren’t enough hospital beds to accommodate the needs of the population, and the more we mingle with others, the more chances the virus has to infect the vulnerable. If you stay home and “nothing bad happens”, that’s kind of the point, isn’t it? That’s why you’re being asked to stay home– so you won’t get sick or spread germs to others!

What’s especially sad are the tone deaf comments people have been making about who will suffer the worst from coronavirus. I have a friend who is medically vulnerable due to heart disease. She recently shared this insightful article entitled “Please Stop Treating Me Like I’m Disposable When you Talk About The Coronavirus”. It’s about how the elderly and the chronically ill have to listen to insensitive comments from “healthy” people about how everything will be “fine” because “only” people who are old and already sick will die from this virus. It’s bad enough to have a chronic illness like cancer, diabetes, or an autoimmune disorder, like lupus. But then to have to worry about catching a deadly virus and listen to thoughtless comments from people who are fortunate enough to be healthy– well, it can’t be good for one’s stress levels. Too much stress also lowers the body’s ability to fight off bugs like the coronavirus.

Yesterday, Bill and I went grocery shopping. It was the first time I’d been out of the neighborhood for awhile. In all three stores we visited yesterday, the toilet paper was completely sold out. I later read a news article about some idiots in Tennessee who thought they’d capitalize on the virus by buying up all the hand sanitizer and face masks in a 1200 mile radius and selling them at a huge markup on Amazon and eBay. Happily, the big retailers like Amazon, eBay, and Walmart are shutting down greedy fucks like those guys and not allowing them to price gouge, although it doesn’t change the fact that they have amassed huge stockpiles of items that people need. I read in the article their rationale for stockpiling sanitizers and toilet paper and was left shaking my head… This is the Trump generation, for sure. The guys claim they’re doing a “public service”, buying the hand sanitizer from rural stores and making it available to big cities. What greedy assholes.

The news hasn’t been all bad. My heart was warmed watching Italians making the best of things on their balconies, singing and playing music. And a week ago, Bill was visiting his daughter for the first time in 15 years, meeting his grandchildren and son in law. I got to share that news with people who know our story. I know some of my friends who are second (or third) wives and stepmothers were really gratified to read about Bill’s reunion. I also have a few friends who were estranged from parents when they were growing up who understand how exciting this was for us.

Just this morning over a delicious breakfast of French toast and sausage, I told Bill that this social distancing idea may turn out to be a blessing. People are going to be forced to stay home, so for many people, that means more time with family. I have missed Bill because of his many business trips so far this year. Now, he’s going to have to stay local, and that’s a good thing. It’s also a great time for us to adopt a new dog, which we’re taking the steps to do right now. In fact, we’re scheduled to have a home visit later today, which could lead to a new family member very soon. So, although I’m dismayed to read some of the stupidity on the Internet, I also know there’s always a bright side to things.

Anyway… we have nice weather today, and Bill moved our patio furniture outside and hooked up our lawnmower. Maybe after we visit with the dog rescue lady, we’ll enjoy some sunshine while we social distance. Hope you all enjoy your Sunday, too… and stay away from stupid Facebook posts.

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