It’s Thursday, which used to mean it was party night, when I was in college. But now every night is party night. 😉 I’m kidding, actually. Bill and I don’t party every night. We sit at our table and listen to selections from my huge music library, eat dinner, and drink wine and/or beer. We do a lot of talking, too. I’m grateful we have time for talking and listening to music as we quaff wine and beer. Maybe we should drink water instead of alcoholic beverages. It would be healthier and less expensive on many levels. But the fact is, we don’t do the “right” thing by avoiding booze.
Bill will be gone for about ten days starting Sunday. I will spend the time anticipating our trip to Armenia, and trying to teetotal. 😉 I usually do a pretty good job of teetotaling when Bill is gone. My main thing is that I have a tendency to get bored when he’s gone. Drinking beer helps pass the time. But I have downloaded some movies and a box set or two. I can use my empty evenings entertaining myself by catching up on movies and TV, and perhaps I’ll sing a couple of songs. I did a couple yesterday. I think they turned out quite well.
Someday maybe I’ll do something original. I’m getting noticeably better at playing guitar, although I have a long way to go before I’m fit for a public performance on YouTube. I have actually done a couple of songs with my mediocre playing, but not while I’m on camera. I think I need one of those mics that hang overhead, and that would require another VESA arm, which isn’t so easy to arrange when you have sloping ceilings. But anyway, maybe the day will come when I can arrange a live performance with singing and guitar… and maybe I will even write a song someday. That’s a not so secret goal of mine. I often say that something positive can come out of almost any situation, if you think long enough about it. COVID gave me the gift of guitar, as in, I finally got more serious about learning how to play. I know I would be a better guitarist if I had a real teacher, though. 😉
Anyway… about today’s title…
Today’s topic comes courtesy of Ex, who has been surprisingly civic minded lately in between her comments about Outlander. Before I get too deep into my commentary today, I will state that, on the surface, I actually agree with a lot of the stuff she posts. Somehow, she’s evolved from a conservative to a liberal… kind of like I have. I’m not sure how much of her political commentary is based on her true thoughts and feelings about things.
I’ve long suspected that Ex is a true narcissist, which means she tends to say whatever is going to get her the most fuel. And she tends to support whatever politics are going to benefit her personally. She seems to have become more liberal since she had her last child, a young man who will likely need help for the rest of his life. I can’t blame her for that, by the way. If you, or your family members need assistance, it makes sense to vote for people who might vote to provide that assistance. I’ve just noticed that her political views have dramatically changed in the years I’ve known of her. I can remember a time when Ex was a lot more conservative than she apparently is now.
Today, Ex seems to be all about voting blue, backing social justice warriors, and “wokeism”. In the past few days, she has let her liberal feelings be known to everyone on Twitter. She also has a history of repeatedly expressing a desire to move out of the United States. Most of the time, she’s posted that she wants to move to Scotland, although I don’t think she’s ever been there. But she also recently posted that she once had a desire to move to New Zealand. Alas, the New Zealand dream can never be realized. When the singer, P!nk, posted about people mistaking her Māori Poi flags for Israeli flags at her shows and getting threats, Ex chimed in with a comment about herself, revealing her former wish to move to the land of Kiwis and why that can never be…
This may be read by many Māori, so I’ll tell. I dreamed of living in NZ, only to learn autistic people are not welcome. My family can’t come, even to visit. I don’t think the Māori would approve of this discrimination. Seeking NZ & UK opinions only. As for war? I pray for PEACE.
Notice this comment has nothing to do with P!nk getting death threats over flags at her shows. It’s simply Ex’s complaints about perceived discrimination toward the people in her family who are on the autism spectrum. Once again, she’s making someone else’s post about herself.
Even though I rolled my eyes as I read it, I actually learned something new from Ex’s post. I didn’t know that New Zealand and some other countries won’t grant residency permits or citizenship to people with autism. I researched the issue, and learned that, at least in New Zealand, this rule is in place because of fears that people with autism would strain the healthcare system too much. I’m not sure Ex is correct about people with autism not being able to visit, as if you have a US passport, you can travel to countries that allow US citizens to visit. But it does appear that New Zealand and other countries will not grant permission for people to live there if there’s a chance they will strain the public health system. From the article (dated April 25, 2022):
“The current settings are not specifically discriminatory against disabled people, but instead focus on assessing the public health impact an individual will have,” said a government statement.
“The government values the contribution that disabled people bring to society and is always willing to take steps towards making New Zealand a non-disabling society. However, as this goal pertains to the current Acceptable Standard of Health (ASH) immigration settings, the government considers these settings appropriate.”
I can’t blame Ex for being attracted to New Zealand. It’s a beautiful country, based on what I’ve seen in photos and videos. I’d love to visit there myself someday. Unlike Ex, I will probably have the ability to do it. Besides having family members with autism who “can’t even visit”, Ex is perpetually strapped for cash. This isn’t a new phenomenon. It was also a problem when she and Bill were married, before autism was part of her life (our understanding is that older daughter didn’t have an official diagnosis until she was about 20 years old– long after she and Bill divorced).
Bill worked constantly to bring in money, taking jobs in factories, because that was what was available where they were living. Ex spent all their money on a wide variety of things– cars, landscaping, furniture, Disney plates, snacks from Swiss Colony, depression glass, and whatever else struck her fancy and temporarily bolstered her empty soul…
When I met Bill, he was broke, and his credit rating was in the toilet. Today, he has an excellent credit rating and little debt. He works at a job that pays well and is suitable for his talents, interests, and skills. Although he has dental insurance that will pay half, Bill can afford to pay out of pocket for the dental implant he’s about to get next month. He’s learned from past financial mistakes and repaired his credit. But Ex, apparently, is still broke. Last night, she posted this in response to someone’s comment about Mary Lou Retton crowdfunding her recent stay in the ICU.
Here’s what I have to say about Ex’s comment. First of all, healthcare is NOT a basic human right in all places. It ought to be a human right, but the fact is, it’s not– especially in the US.
Unfortunately, in the United States, healthcare is a business, just like pretty much everything else is. Although changes are necessary, they will likely be very slow in coming. This is on account of our fucked up government, where people argue for weeks over who’s going to be Speaker of the House, rather than choosing someone expeditiously. I’d love to see politicians getting to work making policies that are good for the American PEOPLE, instead of making more money for the already rich. But that isn’t reality today.
In the United States, we have many non-profit healthcare organizations, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t businesses. It just means that their profits must be reinvested into the organization. I think Ex would like to see healthcare delivery services become a “not-for-profit” entity, which would mean that they are charitable organizations that don’t exist to make money, and the people working in them care only about the joy of healing and nurturing their fellow man.
But that concept also has its issues, as healthcare workers work very hard to get qualified to earn their credentials, have to pay high premiums for malpractice insurance, usually have lots of student loans, and demand to be paid well for what they do. To generate enough money and benefits to attract good people, healthcare systems have to make money. Otherwise, we’d have a whole lot more mediocre people going to medical school (which isn’t to say there aren’t some mediocre people in medical school now).
Many Americans are completely ignorant about how hospitals function, and they have fallacious ideas about how any changes to our system would affect them. Add in the fact that a large number of Americans never travel abroad and don’t experience healthcare outside of the United States. They think national healthcare will mean they won’t have any choices, and that our system will turn into a dystopian nightmare. So they keep voting for people who are focused on keeping things the way they are, which isn’t very sustainable for most people.
It’s kind of like how Americans resist moving away from the tipping model in restaurants. In other countries, restaurant workers are paid by the people who hired them. Yes, they get tips, but they don’t depend on them for their livelihood. Try to explain this to Americans, though, and they just don’t have a concept. I think it’s kind of the same for the prospect of changing healthcare. A lot of us would rather just stick with what we know, even though it sucks. So even when progress is made, it gets rolled back by the opposing parties, who want things to stay the way they are. 😉
Secondly, I am not surprised to read that #3 is working two full-time jobs (or perhaps just two jobs– she does embellish sometimes). He probably does work that much so they can “live”. But it’s not just because healthcare is so expensive that he does that. Based on Bill’s experiences being Ex’s #2 husband, I think there are several reasons why #3 has to work so hard.
- Ex spends her money on all kinds of worthless crap. You only have to look at her Instagram to see this, but I also know from Bill’s and younger daughter’s stories.
- She doesn’t save money or pay off debts in a timely manner, which means she winds up with emergencies she’s not prepared for, and gets socked with service charges and higher interest rates.
- She has an extreme “live life in the present” mindset when it comes to money, and assumes things will somehow “work out” in the long run, which they never do. She easily justifies spending money she doesn’t have. Usually, that means her husband has to bust his ass at work, and it still won’t be enough. She will also berate him for not meeting her endless needs, so he’ll try to work harder to avoid that.
- Ex doesn’t have a job, and though she gets lots of help with housework and taking care of her son from older daughter, she has legitimate expenses, like her recent ankle surgery and, perhaps, college tuition for their daughter.
- Working two jobs gives #3 a refuge from Ex’s batshit craziness. I’m serious. It was true in Bill’s case. He lived for going on National Guard drill duty, because it meant getting the hell away from her for awhile.
What is especially telling about this situation is seeing how Bill was once in #3’s shoes, and now he’s doing quite well, financially speaking. When I met Bill, he lived on $600 a month, and whatever he could scrounge from per diem payments when he went on TDYs. It took us a few years to recover from the financial nightmare of his marriage to Ex. But now, he has plenty of money to meet our needs. If he’d stayed with Ex, he certainly wouldn’t have what he has now. She would have squandered the money in an attempt to impress other people or satisfy her bottomless pit of needs for shiny things. She also wouldn’t have let him succeed in the Army. She resented the Army for dictating where they would live and when Bill would be working. I don’t interfere with Bill’s work, so he’s been able to achieve and succeed, and he gets paid accordingly.
So… while I agree with Ex that our healthcare system is fucked, and needs to be reformed, I don’t believe her husband works so hard simply because of soaring healthcare costs. There are plenty of reasons why he’d even CHOOSE to work so much. Some of them have to do with escaping having to be around her. I just hope he doesn’t work himself into an early grave for her sake. I don’t like #3, but I dislike Ex even more. She’s not worth dying for.
Unfortunately, as Ex’s third husband, he’s already seen what she does when she gets divorced. #3 does have an advantage that his daughter is an adult and won’t be as easily alienated and manipulated as ex stepson and Bill’s daughters were. But his son with Ex will probably always have to live in the home, and if they split up, she won’t let him be involved in his life unless he lawyers up and forces her to cooperate. That takes a lot of money in the US, and it might not even work. Family courts are a crapshoot. He probably thinks it’s cheaper to keep her.
But anyway… those are just my thoughts as a longtime observer. I realize I could be wrong. I do wonder, though, now that #3 has been with Ex for so long, if he understands now why Bill so readily agreed when she demanded a divorce. Maybe he does when he has a spare twenty seconds at the urinal when he’s working, but my guess is that he doesn’t have much time for thinking about his situation. He’s in too deep. Poor sucker. /sarcasm
Well… I’ve got laundry to fold, carpets to vacuum, a dog to walk, and a guitar to practice. So I am going to end this long ass post. If you managed to read it and not think I’m an asshole, I thank you. See you tomorrow… if I survive today.