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.

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.


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.


Things I’ve learned about myself this week…

Listen up, people. It’s Friday, and I’m in one of my moods… And I’m about to cut loose on some sheer stupidity I’ve encountered over the past week or so. Much of this is inspired by the letter ex landlady’s lawyer sent to us, detailing her complaints about the four years we rented her house. I note that despite all of these things, she never once requested that we move out of the house. And she never once complained about not being paid.

For the people who have been relentlessly stalking my blog, looking for dirt. Pay attention. I am mostly being sarcastic.

To wit:

  • Americans use too much toilet paper.

The reason the ex landlady’s antiquated water saver toilet backed up three times was because, like all Americans, Bill and I use too much paper to clean our assholes. She makes this claim never having witnessed us taking dumps, having never watched us wipe our asses, having never visited the United States, and also after having assured us her other tenants, all of whom were Americans, never had problems with the water saver toilet.

The actual issue that caused the toilet to back up is that that particular model cannot handle certain brands of toilet paper. In order to get everything to go down, one must flush the entire tank by standing there holding the lever rather than just pushing it and letting it go, as one might automatically do to any other toilet in a fully developed country like Germany. Over the course of four years using that “inferior” toilet, I did this sometimes two or three times per dump, particularly after the landlord gave me a tutorial on how to use the toilet. The water bill went up, too. So much for it being a water saving toilet, eh? Sounds like a poorly designed crapper, to me. And, I’d like to know, if Americans use too much toilet paper, why didn’t the other toilet in the house ever back up? When did our ex landlady become an expert on American toilet habits? Is this a topic she’s studied in depth?

I’ve been using toilets for over 45 years in countries all over the world. This issue was a first for me. But obviously, because I am an American, I use too much toilet paper to clean up my daily shits. She must have thought long and hard about that one. By the way, we still use the same amount of toilet paper we’ve always used, but we changed brands. Never had any other backup problems in her house or the one we are in now… or any other place I’ve lived in. So I don’t think the back up issue has anything to do with my being “American”. It’s because ex landlady needs to invest in a more modern toilet that functions properly.

  • I am a thief.

Ex landlady is missing a “nice” fridge. According to her, the crappy Luxor branded fridge with the European plug is really an “inferior” American branded fridge that Bill and I maliciously “abandoned”. And because her mysterious “nice” fridge is missing, we must have stolen it.

The day we moved into that house, I took a picture of the old fridge that I’m assuming she claims was “abandoned”. It’s a Luxor, which is a European brand. It also has a European plug. But ex landlady, who is evidently an expert on Americans and their bowel habits, apparently doesn’t know that we, in America, also use 110 volts for our electronics, rather than 220 volts. That “abandoned American fridge” is plugged directly into the wall. If it was an American fridge, we’d need a transformer to use it.

I have never seen any other fridge associated with that house, other than the one I can prove I purchased. So no, ex landlady, we are not thieves. And you are treading a very fine line. If there really was a “nicer” fridge in that house and it’s missing, look to your other tenants. By the way, the movers packed the instruction manual that came with the “abandoned” Luxor fridge. We still have it in our possession. It’s not an American brand, you twit. And there is NO way we ever would have bought that for ANY kitchen, even just to maliciously abandon it in your house.

  • Americans are ignorant about disposing of trash.

One of the complaints listed in ex landlady’s lawyer’s letter was that we left the trash bins full and “filthy”. He also wrote that “Americans don’t know about the ordinances.” To that point, I will agree. However, we were moving out of the house, and it wasn’t trash day. And we also paid for the following month’s rent, plus Nebenkosten, which includes trash pickup. Where the fuck were we supposed to put the trash that results from moving if not in the Goddamned trash bins? And is it really that big of a deal for you to pull the bins out so they can be emptied, especially since we did pay you for December and December’s trash pickup? And you’re bitching about my being lazy?

Ex landlady felt compelled to scrub the bins after we departed. One of the bins, the black one intended for “Restmuell”, had “encrusted” dog crap in it (she loves that word, “encrusted”). More than once, I had to listen to a lecture from ex landlady about dog crap and making sure I cleaned it up. I tried very hard to do so immediately, whenever the dogs went in the yard. There were a couple of times, early in our time there, when I missed a pile. Once, it was because ex landlady hadn’t cut the grass and the poop was hidden. Once it was when she came over to mow the lawn and I hadn’t had a chance to inspect the yard. She never gave us advance notice before she came over, and there was never any rhythm or rhyme to her visits. I was under the impression that dog crap belongs in the trash. If it doesn’t, where should I have put it?

I would have been happy to clean the “encrusted” dog shit out of the bin for her. But she and her husband turned off the outside water supply in 2017 and they never turned it back on in 2018. I suppose we could have done that ourselves, but she was so uptight about such things that I didn’t think it would be a good idea. Ex landlady would never let us handle routine house maintenance stuff; she always came over with her husband to deal with any repairs or inspections. It was clear to me that this was important for her to handle, even though Bill and I are perfectly competent adults. So we didn’t dare turn on the water supply ourselves.

She also took the hose and, while we could have bought a hose for ourselves, I can’t even imagine the outrage that would have resulted if we’d tried to scrub the bins in her “pristine” backyard. And who the fuck cares if the trash can is “filthy”? It’s a trash can, and it’s designed for discarding filth.

But, even if I “don’t know the ordinances” because I am an American and no one explained them to me, I did try to learn about them. I even once asked the ex landlady how to dispose of a dead bird. I did so because she had told me that Germany has strict rules about disposing of the dead. This subject came up when I told her my dad had been buried at the family homestead (he has since been moved). She was shocked, since that would not be allowed here. So when I found a dead bird near the house, I took the time to ask her what to do with it. I didn’t want to break any laws or get yelled at for doing the wrong thing. She told me to put it in the “grey bin”… for Restmuell, where everything goes straight to an incinerator. That is where we put the “nasty” stuff like dog shit, too.

However… I will admit that it gives me a sense of great, perverse pleasure to imagine ex landlady furiously scrubbing our dog shit out of the black bin… so actually, I would concede to paying her for that. I’m sure her internal rage made short work of that chore. 😉 Namaste!

  • I live in “filth” and never do any cleaning.

Those who have been reading my blogs over the years might remember that I posted several entries about housekeeping and cleaning. I even did a few reviews of German cleaning products. However, ex landlady, whose home is reportedly “pristine”, thinks that I don’t clean to her standards. And you know what? That’s fine. Because we aren’t roommates.

In the days before we vacated her house, I spent days cleaning. My body ached. All the while, I knew that no matter how hard I tried to clean, it would never satisfy her. She had made up her mind about me and nothing I did was going to be enough for her. In one of her letters to Bill after we moved out, ex landlady ranted about how she felt compelled to remove the handle of one of the kitchen cabinets because it was “encrusted” with gunk. She may have been right about that, but there is no proof that we were the sole source of the gunk. I know for a fact that she didn’t scrutinize her last tenant’s check out the way she scrutinized ours. We were literally taking the keys from the ex tenant on the day we moved in. And really, who gives a fuck about an “encrusted” door handle, other than a neurotic clean freak?

I wanted to hire a cleaning company. Bill’s company even agreed to pay for it. But we could not find anyone to do the job, and ex landlady wanted to hire someone from her village. After we left, she did try to hire someone, but the person never showed up. So she got an “estimate” from one of the cleaning companies we would have paid to use if they’d only answered their fucking phone. It was for about 1800 euros, which I know ex landlady would never have paid herself. And even if we had hired such a firm, it probably would not have appeased her. She seems to think I am a pig. And she blatantly disrespects Bill, probably for being married to such a pig. Well, ex landlady… “OINK! OINK!”

  • Educated women make terrible wives and mothers.

This next point does not come directly from the ex landlady, although since I know she’s been consulting with her former tenant about my writings, maybe she will agree. After all, I call myself the Overeducated Housewife, and she seems to think I am a horrible housewife. I also never managed to become a mother, nor did I set the world on fire in the business world. She seems to think I sit around on my ass all day, not contributing to the world. She even pointedly asked me once if I had caused my husband’s divorce. So what good am I?

But anyway, this morning I read a rant from a Christian radio host who is upset because Representative Sean Duffy, who is married to Fox News commentator Rachel Campos-Duffy, is going to resign his position so he can “take care of his family.” The Christian radio host, Jesse Lee Peterson, recently ranted about Campos-Duffy’s choice to work outside of the home instead of staying home to cook, clean, take care of the children, and be her husband’s “assistant”.

Campos-Duffy is currently pregnant with the couple’s ninth child. This baby will likely require significant medical intervention once it has been born; ergo, Sean Duffy has decided it’s prudent to resign from his high stress work so he can be available to the family. And Peterson thinks this decision makes Duffy a “beta” male. Peterson says, “I wouldn’t recommend you marry these educated women with these degrees; they don’t make for good wives and mothers.”

I have three college degrees myself. I admit I am not the best housewife, and I never managed to become a mother. I guess this is a good reason for Bill to dump me, even though the reason I am not a mom is mainly due to his decision to get a vasectomy. I am sure ex landlady wondered what Bill sees in me. I’m not thin or beautiful, and I don’t keep the house looking immaculate (to her standards, anyway). I “steal”; I use too much toilet paper; and despite my protests to the contrary, I must have broken up Bill’s marriage to his ex wife. Why else would he get a divorce and be estranged from his children? It couldn’t be because he was once married to an overbearing, abusive, extortionate woman much like the ex landlady, could it? I guess she thinks Bill is a “beta” male, controlled by worthless me.

So… that’s what I’ve learned about myself and my fellow Americans this week. Or really, maybe she just thinks I represent Americans and our disgusting, slovenly, decadent ways. But I take heart in knowing that Americans aren’t the only people ex landlady disdains. I remember quite clearly hearing ex landlady lament about the growing number of Muslims moving to Germany, and her fear that they were planning to take over her country and replace its Christian culture. I also remember her telling me very plainly that she’d be “devastated” if one of her daughters married a Mexican. I suspect she’d feel that way if they married anyone non-white and non-German. She might be alright with a Brit or a Frenchman, though. She seemed to like them.

I find her attitude puzzling, since one of her daughters is a “little person” and has most likely endured grief and teasing due to being different. You’d think, as the super devoted mom ex landlady claims to be, she’d have more compassion for those who are different from her. But then, maybe she hates herself for having a child who isn’t “perfect” (here’s a hint: no one is perfect, and there is nothing wrong with “little people”), and that is why she is seemingly so fixated on her house being returned to her completely immaculate, without any flaws or defects. Maybe that’s why she feels perfectly justified in extorting money from people who could not transform her odd, poorly furbished, weirdly laid out hovel of a rental home into something pristine.

I’m sorry we ever wasted time trying to clean that house. We should have just left it broom swept, which was the condition we agreed to leave it in as specified in the lease. At least I would have spared myself the body aches and pains, trying to do the “right” thing. In retrospect, the right thing would have been to listen to my gut about her and avoided living in her hovel in the first place. And if she thinks Americans are so bad, maybe she should get out of the business of renting her house to them. Bill and I will do our best to see that she is no longer bothered by ignorant, filthy, thieving Americans who don’t know about trash… other than the trash from whom we rent our residences.