Yesterday, Bill got a very interesting video from his younger daughter, and it led to a discussion that I think will open new doors of discovery. Younger daughter, who is currently expecting her latest baby, said that she had a craving for hot cocoa the other day. She said she doesn’t often eat chocolate or drink hot cocoa because chocolate seems to upset her stomach and give her a headache. Her husband has the same complaint. However, because she’s pregnant right now, and has some intense cravings for certain foods, she decided to risk the discomfort.
The only problem was, she didn’t have enough cocoa powder. Like a lot of Americans, she’d had good old fashioned American cocoa powder in her cupboard. She doesn’t use it very often, though, because chocolate stuff seems to make her feel ill. So she only uses cocoa every once in a great while, and she’d forgotten to buy more the last time she’d used it for something.
Last year, when Bill and I went to Antwerp, Belgium, for my birthday, we stopped by a Belgian chocolatier and bought some stuff for younger daughter and her family. One of the things we bought for her was some real Belgian Dutch processed cocoa powder. It came in a fancy blue canister. Younger daughter opened it for the first time a couple of days ago and was immediately shocked by how different it looked, compared to her American cocoa powder.
Then she made the hot cocoa and was blown away by how much better it tasted, compared to the American stuff. Not only that, but she didn’t suffer a headache or stomach issues due to the cocoa, as she normally would have. After she excitedly told us about how excellent the Belgian Dutch processed cocoa was, she added that her husband also thought it was much better and didn’t suffer the usual ill effects. He said, “We can’t ever go back (to American cocoa powder, that is)!”
Bill explained to his daughter that the Dutch processed cocoa is treated with an alkalizing agent that reduces the acidity of the cocoa and takes away some of the bitterness. It’s also much lower in caffeine than non Dutch processed cocoa is. Since younger daughter and her husband are devout Mormons, it’s likely they are sensitive to caffeine. They don’t drink coffee or black tea, and probably don’t drink a lot of cola. While caffeine can help get rid of headaches to those who are addicted to it, it can also cause adverse side effects in those who aren’t used to it.
There’s also the fact that Belgian chocolate is among the very best in the world, and is made to very different standards than US made chocolate is. If you’ve ever eaten a Hershey bar, you might notice that they tend to have a distinctive smell kind of reminiscent of vomit. But other chocolate doesn’t necessarily have that pukey aroma. I’ve never encountered it in Belgian or Swiss chocolates. The weird smell is there because of the presence of butyric acid, which is also present in rancid butter, Parmesan cheese, and vomit. Hershey’s claims that they do not put the acid in the chocolate; and yet, somehow it still seems to make its way into their products. If you click the link in this paragraph, you can read more about how and why the acid is in Hershey’s chocolate, when the company swears they aren’t the ones putting it there.
After Bill told his daughter about Dutch processed cocoa and the high quality of Belgian and other European chocolates, I quipped “Now you’ve bonded over cocoa powder. She’s learned about European chocolate because of you.” Her mother never exposed her to many things from Europe. Indeed, she seems to embrace knock offs rather than genuine articles. Almost everything in her life– from her handbags to her children’s father figures– is fake.
I’m glad younger daughter is getting to talk to Bill about these things now… but I wish she’d been able to do that when she was still growing up. I wish Bill could have taught her things when she was a child and a teenager. And I wonder what could happen when she has a quiet moment or two, sometime in the future, and realizes what was stolen from her when she was coming of age. Her father could have died on 9/11, or when he went to Iraq to fight in a war, or even on his many commutes to and from work. Fortunately, he’s still here, and technology allows him and his daughter to finally get to know each other, in spite of her mother’s efforts to destroy their bond.
Well, at least they can talk about these things now. At least now Bill can help her broaden her horizons, even if it’s just through talking about cocoa powder from Belgium. This story could have turned out a lot worse. Anyway, I’m glad younger daughter is enjoying the Dutch processed cocoa powder. Bill used some the other day when he made us brownies. I was craving them, even though I’m definitely not pregnant.
I’m not sure if we sent her the Van Houten Dutch processed cocoa powder, which is from Belgium. However, I have a feeling that now that she’s tried it, she won’t want to go back to Hershey’s. I hope someday that she and her husband, at the very least, can visit Europe and experience it for themselves. I think if they had a chance to travel outside of the United States, they would be shocked and awed by what’s out there.
As it is now, younger daughter has some favorite German candy. She’s partial to gummi bears, of course, but she also loves Milka chocolate bars. She hasn’t even tried Ritter Sports yet. Bill was going to send some to her in our latest care package, but the store had run out of them. Next time we send her some goodies, we’ll have to throw in Ritter Sports, which are made very close to where we used to live. Something tells me once they try them, she and her husband won’t be able to go back… or unring the bell, as it were. This could turn out to be a metaphor of their lives as a whole.
Since I don’t really feel like typing any significant fresh content today, I’m going to repost this blog entry from the original Blogspot OH. This post appeared April 19, 2015. It’s been retitled and edited somewhat, because there was dated and irrelevant content in the original post.
Last night, I shared this photo, which randomly popped up on my Facebook feed. A woman I knew in school had posted it with the comment “You’ve been warned. No excuses.” I knew the photo would generate discussion, and it did. Most of my friends were horrified by the photo, although “Papa Smurf” was a notable and predictable outlier. [Papa Smurf is a former friend now… he was a mansplaining pain in my ass one too many times, and I finally advised him to fuck off. I call him Papa Smurf because he was very sanctimonious and enjoyed trying to act like everybody’s daddy.]
I understand the idea behind this sign and I comprehend why a lot of people are behind its sentiment. However, while I get why people agree with it, I think it’s counterproductive to threaten patients before they’ve even been seen. All a sign like this does is tell the pregnant mom who might be using drugs that the doctor would prefer them to go somewhere else for their prenatal care. Indeed, that could be why the sign was posted. OB-GYNs typically pay a lot in malpractice insurance, and a pregnant person with drug issues could potentially have a riskier pregnancy. Of course, a drug abusing mom who is really bad off probably wouldn’t bother with prenatal care anyway.
Those who use drugs recreationally might see a doctor, but if the doctor flat out tells them they will call the law on them, they will very likely avoid medical care. That may be fine and dandy for the doctor who doesn’t have to deal with them, but what about the unborn child? The sign seems to be advocating for the welfare of the unborn baby, but if the doctor scares off the mother, what good does that do? And doesn’t that sort of conflict with what doctors are supposed to be doing, which is providing healthcare to people who need it?
I happen to be pro-choice, but I couldn’t help but notice. As long as abortion is legal in the United States [remember, this was written in 2015], it seems kind of ridiculous to take this sort of attitude, anyway. I mean, the mother to be can terminate her pregnancy if she chooses. Using illegal drugs is against the law, anyway. Why turn it into a crime against the unborn? Why does the fact that the mom to be is pregnant even come into it? She’s breaking the law, so deal with her.
At this point, we don’t force people to see their doctors. People have a hard enough time accessing appropriate medical care for reasons other than being threatened and alienated. This attitude of needing to police private citizens is creepy to me [I really had no idea what was coming, eight years ago, did I?], and in the long run, I don’t think it makes things better for anybody. Of course a pregnant woman shouldn’t be using drugs, and something should be done if she comes up positive on a drug screen. I think the attitude toward her should be more supportive and helpful, not threatening.
Besides… a woman whose newborn baby comes up positive on a drug screen at the hospital is going to be referred to CPS anyway. All that sign does is encourage the mother to avoid seeing doctors and give birth outside of a medical setting.
Here’s another thought. For most medical procedures, physicians must get informed consent before they go ahead with it. I suppose a sign like this informs patients that the doctor(s) at this practice will do random drug screens, and gives them the option of going elsewhere for their prenatal care. But what about health care professionals that do screenings without the patient’s knowledge or consent? Isn’t that a violation of their rights?
I know there have been cases in which mothers have been arrested for having positive drug screens and have gone to court. In South Carolina, there was a big case involving pregnant women, Ferguson v. City of Charleston, who were tested for drugs without their knowledge or consent. It went all the way to the Supreme Court, which ruled that the search in question was unreasonable, especially since the searches had the potential to land someone in jail.
In any case, while I certainly wouldn’t condone a pregnant woman using drugs, and I agree something should be done to help or dissuade drug abuse in pregnant women, I don’t think taking an adversarial, threatening attitude is in the best interest of patients. The goal shouldn’t be to sell mom down the river; it should be to get her appropriate help so she can successfully raise her child. I think it would be hard to do that by threatening patients with getting the police and child protective services involved before they’ve even been seen.
Edited to add in 2023: I don’t know if the photo is real or fake. I just thought the discussion it generated was interesting. You can see the original post here.
Today’s featured photo was taken in November 2011 on SeaDream I. It’s probably the most flattering photo of several bad ones taken of me without my knowledge or consent on that night… I looked pretty terrible, because besides being overweight, I had a terrible blistering sunburn, and the heat and humidity made my hair frizzy… but apparently, my heartfelt love songs to Bill made me look “prettier” to at least one person…
Yesterday, I was looking through Statcounter and noticed someone hit a post with the tag “Hilltop Hotel”. Inwardly, I kind of groaned, because I remember the hotel experience Bill and I had in 2009 that spawned the original post with that tag. It was a rather peevish, negative review of an Army run hotel that we were forced to stay in as we were leaving Germany the first time.
Because of the particular circumstances we were in, back in September 2009, I was upset on many levels when I wrote my hotel review for Epinions.com. Now that I read the review again– after also having reread it and posted about it last year— I realize that maybe I could have toned it down a bit. I probably wouldn’t have written such a piece today. If I had toned down the review, though, I probably wouldn’t be writing today’s post, which I hope will be more constructive and interesting.
My 2009 review of Hilltop Hotel for Epinions.com went unnoticed for about a year. Then, someone apparently decided to join Epinions specifically so they could tell me off in the comment section. You can see what they wrote in last year’s post, linked in the previous paragraph. The person’s comments were very offensive to me because they were personal attacks on my character and totally dismissed my opinions. That really pissed me off, and I had a lot of time on my hands, so I decided to respond in a really “over-the-top” way. I basically took the person’s comment and deconstructed it, answering each piece.
I noticed today, as I reread last year’s post titled “Who cares what they think?”, that several times in my rebuttal to the woman who told me off, I wrote “You don’t know me.” And I was then reminded of the famous love song, the lyrics of which appear at the bottom of this post. I can sing the hell out of that song. I’ll probably do that today, since I don’t have any big chores to do and Bill is scheduled to come home tonight. He likes it when I sing. In fact, he shared the songs I did earlier this week with his boss, who was reportedly very pleasantly surprised by them.
When Bill was telling me about sharing my covers with his boss, and his boss’s favorable impressions of them, I wrote “Oh good! For once, I can shock someone for positive reasons!” Before Bill’s boss heard my recordings, he didn’t know me as well as he might today. Because that’s one aspect of me he had never seen (or heard).
I’ve noticed that when most people hear me sing, their opinions of me often seem to change, for better or worse. Some people seem to like me more. Some seem to like me less. I think even my own mother’s opinion of me changed after she heard me sing the first time (when I was 18 years old). In her case, her opinion seemed to improve. In other cases, the opposite seems to happen. But rarely does it seem like their impressions of me remain static after they’ve heard me lift my voice in song. 😉
For example, in November of 2011, Bill and I went on a cruise in the southern Caribbean. One night, early in the cruise, we were in the piano bar. It was just Bill and me and the piano player. I started singing to Bill, and this single guy we’d met earlier walked into the bar, mouth agape. And he said, astonished, “Now I can see why you’d love her.”
I don’t know what my exact reaction was to that comment. I might have looked hurt or embarrassed… or maybe I kept stone faced. The guy, who had been drinking heavily, then realized he’d said something very offensive. He grabbed me in an awkward hug and made some more clumsy comments that made things worse. Of course, he was judging me on the external. Like the person who dressed me down in the comment section of my Epinions piece, he didn’t know me, either. He might not have liked me if he did know me, but he was clearly judging me purely on surface stuff. I guess it doesn’t really matter, though. Bill knows me, and he loves me for who I am. That’s what counts.
When I was studying for my MSW, I had a field instructor who accused me of not being very introspective. He really didn’t know me, other than having interacted with me in our weekly briefings. I think he thought of me as obnoxious and opinionated, which I certainly can be. But there’s a much deeper, more insightful side of me that people who take the time to get to know me have actually seen, and most of them now have a different opinion.
I’m sure there are many people who also have that impression of me as a purely obnoxious person, based on what they’ve seen of my personality. But they don’t really know me, either. People who take the time to get to know me often find out that there’s more to me than what they immediately see and hear… as is the case for any person. I just think it’s too bad that so few of us seem to want to know other people, other than what they see on the surface. I will even admit that I’m as guilty of this tendency toward shallowness as anyone is.
I think, especially in today’s hyper Internet driven world, people don’t really take the time to get to know others. They have a lot of shallow acquaintances, but very few deep friends. And a lot of people make erroneous and occasionally embarrassing assumptions about others that prevent them from making true connections.
Here’s another example. Last night, I read in the Washington Post about how France’s president Emmanuel Macron, wants to enshrine the right to abortion in France’s constitution. Naturally, there were many dumb comments from Americans, particularly from incel type men who simply want to lecture women about how immoral they are to want the right to have dominion over their own bodies.
One guy– someone who is probably young enough to be my son– posted this response to a pro-choice woman:
“No right to snuff out the unborn. Stop being a garden tool and you’ll be fine.”
I couldn’t resist responding, so I wrote this:
“Stop using your garden tool to fertilize our gardens and we’ll all be fine.”
I thought that was a pretty banal and kind of funny response… but the guy was apparently wounded by it. He came back to me with a comment that showed that he really doesn’t know me at all!
I’m not to begin with.
Lol you don’t even know who’s in your garden. You invite so many dicks in your garden, you automatically think every guy on Facebbok you come across has been in your garden
I responded thusly… So far, he has not responded.
OMG…. You think that’s a comeback? Seriously, dude… some woman obviously hurt you, and you can’t get over it. Nor can you get over the fact that you owe your life to a woman. The power we have really pisses you off, doesn’t it?
Now, I don’t know him, either. However, I do know that, like everyone else on the planet, he owes his life to a biological female. And I conclude that immediately assuming that I “invite dicks in my garden” is a sign that someone who owns a vagina must have hurt him deeply. I could be wrong, though. I took a peek at his profile, and it looks like he’s probably not a bad person. He was sharing pictures of dogs needing homes. I can appreciate that.
If that guy and I were to meet offline, he’d probably be someone I’d like. He might even like me. But, because I pointed out that unintended pregnancies aren’t just a woman’s fault, he went really ugly and made a totally baseless comment that isn’t rooted in reality. There’s a whole lot you can say about me, but I am not at all promiscuous. And immediately inferring that someone is a “slut”– only because they support abortion rights– is a sure sign that someone female has wounded them somehow. So now, they take out their pain on all of us.
I notice a lot of men are very opposed to abortion rights, and I really think it’s rooted in a deep fear that men have that they will soon be obsolete. After all, a woman can get pregnant without a man’s physical input if she can afford to go to a sperm bank. And she can raise the child without a man, too.
A lot of men also resent that if they impregnate a woman, while having what they’d only intended to be a fun roll in the sack, and she decides to keep the pregnancy, he’ll be on the hook for child support. So, they don’t think it’s fair that a woman can decide to have an abortion, and they can’t fathom why an abortion might be necessary. They seem to forget that pregnancy is a whole lot more involved for women than it is for men… kind of like that ham and eggs anecdote I’ve written of. When it comes to ham and eggs for breakfast, a pig is fully invested, but a chicken is just “involved”. Same thing goes for pregnancy. I don’t know why there are so many men out there who can’t understand that pregnancy isn’t a 50/50 situation, but alas, here we are…
I traded comments with a couple of other guys, one of whom wisely bowed out kind of early. Another engaged me longer, and I think ended up regretting it… because he eventually outed himself as a slut shamer, and I called him out on it. Notice in the below exchange how he goes into the “personal responsibility” speech, as if any woman who might need an abortion is automatically “irresponsible”. I didn’t see him commenting on how people get pregnant in the first place, and how those folks need to be responsible, too.
I didn’t mean to wind up writing about abortion again. It just kind of fits in with today’s theme. A lot of people judge people and situations they don’t know. They aren’t at all curious about who the other person is, or what their story is. It didn’t used to be this way. We had fewer friends, but most of the people we knew, actually knew us in person. And if they didn’t like us, it was based on something more tangible than what they read online.
I suppose it can work the other way, too. I met Bill online, and we got to know each other through nightly chats for about 18 months before we met in person. If he had met me offline first, he might not have liked me. I can be off putting to those who don’t know how to take my personality. He might not have given me a chance. I might not have given him a chance, either. But he liked my erotic fiction, so we got to know each other. As you can see, 20 plus years later, it still works. And no one knows me as well as Bill does.
Anyway… I try to get to know people when I can. I hope others will try to get to know me. I may not have the most genteel or appealing personality when you meet me in person, but if you get to know me, you’ll eventually find a deeper, softer, more empathic side. And no, I’m not really a spoiled snob, a fat, lazy, slovenly slob, or a slut with a dirty mouth… All of these characteristics have been assigned to me by people who made snap judgments based solely on the shallow external. Only one sort of changed his mind– the one who thought I was a fat slob– and that was because he heard me sing and liked it. Suddenly then, I had some worth, and he could then see “why Bill would love me”.
It’s really not fair, is it? Well, I think I’ll record this song, because I feel like it. Maybe some people will like it. Maybe some won’t. But at least you can see, there’s more to me than self-indulgent blog posts. 😉
You give your hand to me And then you say hello And I can hardly speak My heart is beating so And anyone can tell You think you know me well Well, you don’t know me
No, you don’t know the one Who dreams of you at night And longs to kiss your lips And longs to hold you tight Oh I’m just a friend That’s all I’ve ever been ‘Cause you don’t know me
For I never knew The art of making love Though my heart aches With love for you Afraid and shy I let my chance go by A chance that you might love me, too
You give your hand to me And then you say good-bye I watch you walk away Beside the lucky guy Oh, you never know The one who loves you so Well, you don’t know me
For I never knew The art of making love Though my heart aches With love for you Afraid and shy I let my chance go by A chance that you might love me, too
You give your hand to me, And then you say good-bye I watch you walk away Beside the lucky guy Oh, you never know The one who loves you so You don’t know me
You never know The one who loves you so Well, you don’t know me
You know how some people in certain states think that developing fetuses should have all of the rights to personhood that already born people get? I’ve noticed that some people have been doing their best to get over, based on that line of thinking. Personally, I have no qualms with it, since it offends me that some people value the unborn over the already born.
When this situation first occurred, Bottone reportedly wasn’t trying to make a political statement. But then the question of what constitutes actual personhood really did make her wonder. When Roe v. Wade was overturned and Texas adopted very strict laws against abortion, some unintended consequences arose. One of them has to do with crime and punishment. Whether it’s a woman trying to get out of a moving violation citation, or a woman who has been accused of murder trying to get out of jail, denying pregnant people the right to bodily autonomy and acting like a developing fetus has rights means that there will be some new wrinkles in the laws.
Last night, I read another story addressing this phenomenon, when I stumbled across a Huffington Post article about Natalia Harrell, a pregnant woman in Florida who has been jailed since last July. Attorney William Norris filed an emergency petition last week on behalf of his client, Ms. Harrell’s fetus, currently at eight months gestation. Mr. Norris claims the Miami-Dade Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has not provided Ms. Harrell with adequate prenatal care.
Mr. Norris told NBC Miami:
“An unborn child is a person. A person has constitutional rights and one of them is the right not to be deprived of liberty without due process of law.”
“I am asserting the right of someone who is a person who has not been considered in the decision to incarcerate his mother.”
According to the Huff Post article I read, Ms. Harrell has not seen an OB-GYN since October. Norris asserts that the corrections department has not provided sufficient prenatal vitamins or nutritious food. Ms. Harrell has not been taken to scheduled doctor’s appointments, and at one point, the pregnant woman was forced to sit in a 100-degree transport van that lacked air conditioning. Norris filed the petition when he was contacted by the baby’s father, who was concerned about his unborn child’s well-being.
Ms. Harrell has been incarcerated without bond since last summer. She’s accused of “fatally shooting fellow Uber passenger Gladys Yvette Borcela amid an argument after a night out in Miami.” Harrell’s trial is set to begin in April; she has pleaded not guilty.
It should come as no surprise that Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody has argued for the petition’s dismissal on the grounds that there is no evidence that Ms. Harrell has been mistreated. Officials at the jail have also “disputed the allegations about its care for the inmate, saying in a statement that it’s ‘committed to ensuring all inmates receive professional, timely medical care and all appropriate treatment.'”
However, Mr. Norris reminds us that Ms. Harrell has not yet been convicted of a crime; she has only been accused. He also adds, “she has a stand-your-ground immunity defense that her criminal attorney is going to assert. So her conviction is by no means certain.”
I am not familiar with the incident that put Ms. Harrell behind bars, however, I do think that if states are going to declare the unborn as persons with personhood, Norris’s petition ought to be examined. I know that on the surface of this case, some people will laugh. They want to grant rights to the unborn, as long as it suits their highly controlling and anti-woman agenda. But both the ticket situation and the more serious murder accusation highlight the unintended consequences that have come up since abortion has been pretty much outlawed in some places. An astute attorney is going to challenge the new laws, and rightfully so.
A few years ago, I blogged about Marshae Jones, a pregnant woman who was jailed because she got in a fight that resulted in her being shot in the stomach. Her baby did not survive. Police reasoned that since the woman hadn’t kept herself out of harm’s way, she was responsible for the unborn fetus’s death. The woman who actually did the shooting, Ebony Jemison, was not indicted; therefore, she remained free, while Jones was jailed and later released on a $50,000 bond. The charges against Jones were eventually dropped, but still, it’s pretty scary how easy it is for pregnant people to wind up incarcerated. And there have been other disturbing cases of women who have been incarcerated because of miscarriage after they’d allegedly done something that put the unborn fetus at risk.
So… what concerns me about Ms. Harrell’s case is that besides the murder charge, she might also be charged with endangering the welfare of a minor, child abuse, or something of that nature. Judging by the comments by MEN on the Facebook post about this story, I can see that a lot of MEN think that Ms. Harrell shouldn’t have any rights because she’s an irresponsible woman who put her unborn baby in danger. But if she’s been jailed since last July, that means she might not have even realized that she was pregnant! Moreover– I must reiterate– she has not yet been convicted. She has only been accused.
I think it’s unsettling to see how gleeful some people are to see others put behind bars. There are so many Americans who seem to rejoice in watching certain people lose their liberties. Personally, I don’t like to think of people rotting in prison, especially when they’re pregnant. Jails and prisons are not good places for anyone to be– especially those who are gestating a baby.
Jessica Kent, a popular YouTube v-logger, has heartbreakingly spelled out what it was like for her to be pregnant when she was in an Arkansas prison. She didn’t know she was pregnant when she got arrested. If you are interested in that subject, I highly recommend watching these two videos…
And again… lots of pro-life MEN, who seem to be very misogynistic and lacking in understanding about why a woman might want or need to have an abortion, are commenting on Ms. Harrell’s story. They’re fine with declaring the unborn a “person with rights” when it comes to putting pregnant women behind bars, but they don’t like to see the same logic used to get women out of legal trouble or released from incarceration. And I’d wager that the VAST MAJORITY of them want and expect the right to privacy when it comes to making their own medical decisions, right?
One particularly prolific Facebook commenter– a man named Nicholas– clearly thinks that late term abortions are very commonly done on a whim. That simply isn’t true; late term abortions are actually very rare. There aren’t very many doctors who will do late term abortions, and the ones who will do them are typically doing them in situations involving tragic medical complications that are no one else’s business. They are very expensive and traumatic, and they involve actually giving birth. So no, they aren’t done for “convenience”.
Moreover, if legislators want to grant rights to the unborn, then they should also make sure that pregnant people have all they need to give birth to healthy babies and be able to raise healthy children. That means access to nutritious food, competent medical care, and adequate rest and exercise for ALL pregnant people– including those who are behind bars. It sounds like Mr. Norris is arguing that his client, by virtue of still being in utero, is being denied his rights as a person– albeit an unborn one at eight months gestation. So yes, it’s good that someone is having a look at this dilemma.
While I don’t know the specifics of Ms. Harrell’s case or whether or not she’s guilty, and I do worry that this case could backfire, I also think that double standards are bullshit. If you want to incarcerate people for crimes against the unborn because they have personhood, you must also consider that the innocent unborn should not be incarcerated for crimes committed by their mothers. It’ll be interesting to see what comes of this case.
Regarding today’s featured photo… Did you know that you can buy fake pregnancy tests on Amazon.de that always come up positive? This is supposed to be a “practical joke”… Seems like they could be used for more nefarious purposes, too…
“Well, howdy there, Internet people…” to quote Beau of the Fifth Column. I hope you had a pleasant President’s Day. I was really struggling with writer’s block yesterday, so after I posted about our delightful Sunday dinner at a German castle, I reposted a couple of articles from 2018. I thought I might come back and write something new later, but Bill and I ended up hanging out with sweet Arran. Arran has lymphoma and has been on chemo since October. The chemo is no longer working quite as well as it was, and I fear we will have to say goodbye to him before much longer.
I dread saying goodbye to Arran. He’s been part of our lives since January 2013, and he’s an incredible dog. Losing him is going to hurt a lot. But, on the other hand, I look forward to not having to worry about canine cancer so much for awhile. We do still have Noyzi, but he’s still fairly young. I also want to go on vacation, and that’s harder to do when your dog is getting chemo. I guess the main thing I feel, though, is that this is part of life. Prolonging the inevitable isn’t productive in the long run.
Aside from hanging out with Bill at home, which we probably wouldn’t have been doing if not for Arran’s cancer, we had a fairly uneventful holiday weekend. I noticed a lot of scuttlebutt about pregnancy rumors. There’s talk that Meghan Markle might be pregnant with her third child. Some people never believed that she was ever pregnant with Prince Harry’s children, Archie and Lilibet, let alone with another baby now. There’s an especially icky rumor that Meghan “lacks the necessary parts” to have babies. I’m not sure I believe that. But then, it’s not really my business.
Lots of people on H.G. Tudor’s channel are commenting about this “news”. I do remember Harry had said that he would only be fathering two children, due to his concerns about the environment. People are commenting on everything from Harry’s claim that he only wanted two children, Meghan’s “real” age, and how she might actually be older than 41 (sister Samantha has said Meghan is, in fact, 41), to claims that Meghan had a hysterectomy years ago, supposedly due to her having had multiple abortions.
I don’t know how true any of that is… Actually, even though I am not a fan of Meghan’s, I find the constant speculation about whether or not she still has all of her female parts, fertility (or lack thereof), real parentage of her children, and her “actual age” kind of disgusting. I think that kind of mean-spirited speculation only gives credence to the Harkles’ claims that people are being “evil” to them. It’s probably best to just ignore them… give them what they claim they want– PRIVACY.
But, of course, the Harkles won’t go away, and we keep seeing them in the news. I will admit to being part of the problem, since I read Harry’s book and reviewed it on this blog. I also read and reviewed Tom Bower’s book about Meghan and Harry. They are kind of fascinating, in a trainwreck sort of way. I don’t know if Meghan is pregnant. I don’t actually care that much. What I think is interesting is the commentary about why the rumor may be circulating– perhaps even at Meghan’s hands.
H.G. Tudor’s commentary regarding the narcissistic uses of pregnancy is especially interesting to me. Because, as he rightly points out, Meghan being pregnant right now would be fortuitous timing, as King Charles III is about to be coronated. A potential new Sussex could possibly make the adults in the British Royal Family more interested in reconciliation with Harry and Meghan.
Personally, I think Meghan and Harry went too far with the British Royal Family and are desperate to maintain ties. Talk of gestating a baby, real or imagined, is one way to do that. It could also explain why Meghan hasn’t been out and about so much lately.
Well, I suppose time will tell. People on H.G. Tudor’s channel are already saying that Meghan will eventually have a “mythcarriage”. Clever turn of words that is… and I suppose it’s pretty plausible. It would garner attention and public sympathy, too. But maybe she won’t. Maybe she really is pregnant. While it’s not as common for women in their 40s to get pregnant, it does happen. Sometimes, it even happens by accident. But, as I’ve never been pregnant myself, I don’t really know.
Moving on… I would like to write about another attention seeking woman who is currently being buzzed about in the Duggar Family News Facebook group. I’m writing about Jill Rodrigues. Now… I don’t actually write very often about the Rodrigues family, even though I recently got a nasty comment from someone who claimed I was condescending and hateful to Jill and David Rodrigues’s pregnant daughter, Kaylee. For the record, I mostly try not to be hateful– especially to or about people with whom I don’t have any personal dealings. I will admit, though, that I am human. Sometimes, the snark does slip in on occasion. And folks, when it comes to Jill Rodrigues, it’s kind of easy to be snarky.
Jill Rodrigues was reportedly born on November 3, 1978. That means she’s 44 years old. She has 13 children, with her husband, David. David was born on May 29, 1972, meaning he and I are the same age. I know that one’s 40s and 50s is not the prime time to be making babies, but modern medicine is miraculous.
Jill’s eldest child, Nurie, is married to Anna Duggar’s brother, Nathan, and together, they have two very young sons. Jill’s daughter, Kaylee, is also married and currently pregnant. Jill recently announced that her son, Timothy, is now in a “courtship” with Heidi Coverett. This is a lot of exciting news for the “Rodlets”, as they are sometimes called by fundie snarkers. Perhaps Jill was feeling a bit left out, as she posted this announcement on her Instagram, and it was shared in the Duggar group (I am not on Instagram myself, so I didn’t find this on my own).
I have taken the liberty of editing out the children’s faces in these photos…
Alas, it was not to be, and hopes and dreams are cruelly dashed as Jill announces a miscarriage of her 14th child…
Ahem… If Jill Rodrigues really was pregnant and has suffered a miscarriage, then I am truly sorry for her loss. I would not wish that on any woman, regardless of what I might think about them. And, to be honest, I don’t think about Jill very often, but I do see her get posted about a lot due to some of the places I frequent on the Internet. I don’t agree with the way she behaves. A lot of her behaviors set off my cluster B chimes, just as Meghan Markle’s do. But if she was pregnant and had a miscarriage, that is legitimately sad news for her.
It’s kind of interesting that this announcement came up as Jill was sharing other big news about her children. I know that when it comes to narcissistic types, sometimes it’s hard to let other people have the spotlight. Pregnancy can be very validating to a vain type of narcissist. Being fertile signifies youth, which might also mean a person is still sexually alluring and attractive.
I don’t find Jill sexually alluring. I’m not attracted to women, and I probably wouldn’t go for her even if I was, because she wears tons of makeup, is a fundie Christian, and sells Plexus. But, I do realize that biologically speaking, heterosexual men are naturally attracted to women who can still reproduce. So, claiming to be pregnant at age 44 could be a stab at trying to stay youthful and attractive.
Again, maybe she really was pregnant. I don’t know if she was, nor do I even really care, on a personal note. I just find attention seeking, narcissistic behavior very interesting.
On another note, many people in the Duggar group were commenting on how the little child in the photo is holding on to Jill’s pee stick with both hands. Will the child’s hands be washed after the photo op? One would hope so. Adding to the intrigue are the messages that were supposedly written by Jill’s already born children, comforting her after her loss. This message was connected to the above photos of the very small grandchildren holding Jill’s pregnancy test and announcing that they are going to get a new aunt or uncle.
Many people in the Duggar Facebook group speculate that, in fact, Jill wrote those “messages” supposedly given to her by her children. Again, I don’t know if she did or not, but even if the kids did write them, posting it on her busy social media pages, for strangers to see, does seem to be a very needy ploy for attention. I also know, from the posters in the Duggar group, that Jill doesn’t like it when people question her sincerity. She has a habit of blocking people who are “negative”.
I’m certainly not in the position of knowing whether the pregnancy claims regarding either of these 40-ish women are true or not. I know that some women can get pregnant naturally after age 40, but it’s not necessarily easy or particularly common to do so. I think the ones who get pregnant in their 40s probably had medical help of some sort. But that’s not the kind of thing that most people want to talk about openly.
Pregnancy can be a great way to stir up attention and buzz, though, especially when the mom is “older”. It’s kind of an old trick. I saw it somewhat often when I used to hang out in a certain online “pink” site for second wives and stepmoms. Certain women would announce that they would soon be hearing the “pitter patter” of little feet, only to announce a miscarriage later. Then they would “drink up” all of the attention from other women who were kind and sympathetic to their pain. I suppose if you think about it, the need for attention on that level is kind of sad and… painful. Especially for women who are of a certain age. 😉
Recently, I have been dealing with a little mid life crisis myself. Sometimes I do think about the fact that I don’t have children… and instead, I have dogs, who get cancer and die. :'( But, on the bright side, I don’t have to send them to college or get them fitted for braces. And dogs are an ever flowing fountain of love, loyalty, and regard toward those who bring them into their families and take good care of them. I have never regretted a single dog adoption… except for one, and that was an exceptional case. That dog never actually made it into our house, either.
I guess, if I feel anything sad about aging, it’s that I feel like I haven’t amounted to much and have disappointed other people. But that’s probably a futile and pointless thought, since when it comes down to it, most people are pretty fixated on themselves. So, at this point, it probably doesn’t matter too much. At least I managed to marry well, right? 😉
Anyway, if Jill Rodrigues is recovering from a miscarriage, I wish her all the best. And if Meghan Markle is pregnant, I wish her a happy and healthy pregnancy. If these two ladies are just trying to gin up attention, sympathy, and buzz, though, then I wish for them to find good mental health help. That kind of behavior is truly pathetic, and it has far reaching consequences for innocent people.
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