It’s Thursday already! And although it’s early August, it feels more like mid September. As I write today’s post, it’s about 59 degrees outside and overcast. I don’t normally like to include weather reports in my posts, but this is kind of unusual, even for Germany. Not that I’m complaining. This year, at least we have a nice, green lawn in the backyard.
I just checked my spam folder for my Hotmail account. I got another one of those “I’ve infected your computer” emails. This time, the message was different, though. Sure, there were the usual threatening words about how, if I don’t pay them, they’ll send my contacts pictures of me doing unmentionable things. But this time, they included several graphic dick pics of some balding guy with a beard and the threat that next time, the photos could be of me. Trust me, it wasn’t what I wanted to see… especially first thing in the morning.
It’s funny, though, because they would never get such graphic photos of me, even if they could video me doing “nasty” things. It just plain isn’t possible. Was sending those nasty photos supposed to convince me to pay them? I don’t know. But it didn’t work, and it was really gross. I reported the email to Outlook, not that I think they’ll do anything about it.
I also came across a stupid blonde joke this morning. Check this out…
I think blonde jokes are stupid, mainly because I’m a blonde, and I’m not dumb. I mean, some people might call me dumb, but I know I’m not a dim-witted person. I have blonde friends– natural blondes, mind you– who are also not deserving of the dumb blonde stereotype. I spell it with the “e”, because blonde jokes are always directed at women. You rarely hear someone making fun of a blond man.
Wikipedia tells me that the “dumb blonde” stereotype comes from 18th century Europe. Blondes were supposedly more desirable, but less intelligent than brunettes. It’s sad that in 2023, people are still promoting this idea through lame jokes. I was a big fan of the old sitcom, Three’s Company, back in the 70s and 80s, and Suzanne Somers played a “dumb blonde”. When she left, her character was replaced with a clumsy blonde, Jenilee Harrison,… then came Priscilla Barnes, who played a smart blonde. But, Priscilla’s character didn’t do that much to change the stereotype.
When I was younger, I did have sort of light brown hair for awhile. But I started getting silver hair when I was 24 years old. I’m now 51, and I don’t use haircolor anymore. My hair is now naturally blonde again. Not only am I not dumb, but I never had that much luck with men, until I met Bill. Then, I really hit the jackpot. I think he married me for my mind, rather than my looks. When I ask him, he says it’s because he felt comfortable with me. It wasn’t because of my blonde hair and blue eyes… although my big boobs probably did play a part.
The funny thing about the above interview is that Barbara Walters is acting like Dolly looks like a “freak”. I guess in 1977, Dolly’s appearance was pretty extreme. But then, I can think of other people from that era who were also pretty extreme in the way they looked. In 2023, that look is nothing, though. Now, so many people seem to be covered in tattoos and piercings.
In 1977, we couldn’t conceive of some of the stuff that is going on today, with some folks trying desperately to take us back to that less liberated era, and other people fighting desperately to keep evolving. It certainly is a strange time to be living… but I guess that could be said for almost any time in history. Imagine how people felt during World War II, when Hitler was trying to take over Europe. Maybe then, it also felt like the strange times would never end.
Watching the news every day, as Donald Trump gets into an ever deeper legal pit of quicksand, I wonder if his reign of the absurd will be ending anytime soon. I don’t think he’ll be president again, but I do think his influence is going to make life more challenging for a long while. He opened a Pandora’s Box of delusional weirdness that may never again be squelched in my lifetime. I have to admit, though, it is kind of satisfying to watch his legal woes pile up.
I am also quite proud of Joe Biden for telling Alabama to stick it and deciding to keep Space Command in Colorado. Fuck those anti-choice people. In Colorado, the whole force will be more ready, because females and LGBTQ folks can get the healthcare they need in PRIVACY. This is about military readiness. In Colorado, it’s more likely the military will be ready to deploy than they would be in Alabama, where politicians want to force people to gestate.
In any case, as the old saying goes, “nothing endures but change.” This weird stuff isn’t going to last forever. I do wonder, though, if I’ll live to see the end of it. It’s got me feeling a little unsettled.
Yesterday, as I was writing my blog post, I was looking for a clip from the show, Avenue Q. I didn’t end up finding what I was looking for, but I did watch a very reassuring video of the original cast singing the last number, “For Now”. “For Now” is a comforting reminder that everything in life is temporary. Times will either get worse, or they’ll get better, but the one thing we can all count on is change. Just as I had platinum blonde hair as a child, that turned kind of dishwater blonde, then light brown, and has now gone back to platinum blonde, change is a given, and it’s a constant. I’m sure eventually, my hair will turn white. If I manage to live that long, that is…
Speaking of change… my life changed when I saw the video below. I had never seen it before today, but it’s been around for 16 years.
I’m all over the place with this blog post today. I had meant to write about a different topic entirely, but I got sidetracked by that disgusting spam email with the actual dick pics. And now I’m a bit traumatized. I need some eye bleach, because I can’t unsee those pictures.
Then, I saw the dumb blonde joke, and wondered why so many people think women with light colored hair are dumb. I think it’s a mistake to underestimate people… especially those who are beguiling. There have been many blonde performers who have milked that stereotype all the way to the bank. While I congratulate them for making money, I also think it’s sad that some people feel compelled to promote a negative stereotype to make a living. No one should be encouraged to act “dumb”… at least not unless it’s being done for a very good reason. I don’t think getting rich is a particularly good reason to act dumb.
Anyway, if you managed to follow me through this convoluted morass of a post, I offer my congratulations. Maybe I am a dumb blonde, after all. But I would never park my ass in first class when I paid for economy. 😉
Well… I suppose it’s time I closed this post, and got on with the day. It’s Thursday, so that means vacuuming. Yecch. Maybe Noyzi will get a walk. He didn’t get one yesterday, because of the rain. I’ve also got to buy some new dress shirts for Bill. So… I’m off to tend to my chores. Have a good one, y’all.
Today’s post might make the most sense to people who actually know and like me. Most of the people who read my blog, don’t actually know me in person. As I’ve also learned in the past, some people who read my blog might have met me offline, but they dislike me. In spite of my training in social work, I know I don’t have wonderful people skills. I’m not one of those people who is a friend to everyone. That’s more Bill’s department. When I’m mistreated or disrespected, I tend to react in an angry way.
This week has been very challenging for me. Once again, I’ve been mostly trying to mind my own business, and have inadvertently offended someone for just being myself, living in my own space. But… I swear, it’s not my intention to cause people problems. I really just want to be left alone. As long as you show me basic respect and consideration, I won’t intentionally give you any problems.
Last night, Bill and I were talking about the workers who have spent the whole week putting in new windows. We started to piece together what happened. I could be wrong, but I have a feeling that those guys were from somewhere in eastern Europe, and at least one of them has a very old fashioned and disrespectful view of women. They were sent over to put the windows in a home that my husband is paying a lot of rent for, but as he had to work, and the landlord had his own stuff to attend to, they were left alone with me. Consequently, I was on the receiving end of their evident misogyny. Maybe they would have been better behaved if they’d thought I was more “fuckable”.
On Monday, I told our landlord that, because of our dog, I didn’t want the window guys leaving the front door open. I don’t actually think Noyzi would run away, but we did have a tragic incident happen three years ago when we tried to adopt a different dog. He was brought to us in a pet taxi, taken out of the car, and put on the ground with no collar or leash. Before we had a chance to so much as pet him, he took off running, and wound up getting killed on the Autobahn, which is located very close to our home.
Not only was it devastating for us to watch the dog run off and get killed, but it also created significant financial and legal issues, not for us, but for the dog rescue and the pet taxi driver, as well as the person who hit the dog and anyone in the car with them. There was a lawsuit and an insurance claim, and we were left with the horrifying memories of a dog we had only wanted to love, being killed on a high speed highway. I simply wanted to prevent that scenario from happening again.
We have always been very careful about not letting our dogs run loose, but ever since that incident, we’ve been especially aware of what can happen if the dog gets out. That’s why I was very insistent that the front door stayed closed. It’s called responsible dog ownership, but also, I am keenly aware of the liability issues of letting a dog run amok. Noyzi doesn’t usually run out the front door, but he is a shy dog who scares easily. Animals aren’t always predictable. I didn’t want to take the risk, especially since there were strangers in the house.
I don’t think the landlord understood this reasoning, as we haven’t really told him about the incident with the dog that got killed. There hasn’t been a reason or a real opportunity to talk to him about it. It happened the day that COVID-19 shut down the world. I haven’t found him to be the best listener– at least not to me. Anyway, I did mention to him that I wanted the front door closed, but he either didn’t tell the window guys, or he did, and they didn’t heed the request.
The window guys also left chocolate out where the dog could get to it. Again, bless Noyzi for being a very good boy who doesn’t eat things that aren’t his. Not all dogs are like that, though. I don’t know where those guys come from, but it’s very possible or likely that they come from a culture that doesn’t value dogs. Clearly, they had no respect for my dog, who is a member of this family and this household. Noyzi could have gotten sick if he’d eaten the chocolate.
The first day they were in the house, they repeatedly left the door open. I finally tried to ask them to keep it closed, but the older (apparently sexist) guy very abruptly cut me off, saying he doesn’t speak English. That response, quite correctly, made me angry– not because he didn’t speak English, but because he clearly didn’t care what I had to say. He continued to leave the door open until the landlord finally asked them to keep it closed. To their credit, they did honor that request. However, they continued to be disrespectful to me by blaring their music, leaving messes, and acting like they were the only ones in the house. They were at the landlord’s house last week, and I didn’t see them acting that way when he was getting his new windows installed.
After a day or two, the landlord came over with the carpenter who is supposed to come here today. He made a comment to me that now makes me wonder if the window guys complained to him about me. The landlord said in kind of a firm way that the work “needed to be done.” I never had a problem with the work being done. I didn’t want to be in the way, and in fact, mostly stayed upstairs, once those guys went downstairs.
On the first day they were in the house, I played music in my living room, to help drown out their crappy Schlager music. I figure, since this is my home, that was my right. But other than that, I mostly stayed upstairs. On the second day, when they were still upstairs, I even sat at my table wearing headphones, instead of playing music on my HomePod.
On day three, there was a noticeable change in their behavior. It became even more rude, inconsiderate, and disrespectful. The guys came over and just walked into the house without even ringing the doorbell. I did unlock the door for them, but I would expect that upon first arrival at a home that isn’t theirs, they would at least announce themselves by ringing the bell. It’s basic respect, professionalism, decency, and good manners.
On day four, I noticed that the guys were even less professional. They put their equipment on my furniture, and used my patio table and chairs. On day three, they sat their sweaty asses on my new cushions, which I removed before they arrived yesterday, and yesterday, I caught them both with their feet up on my chairs. I got photos of one of them kicking back in the yard. Where I come from, this is blatant disrespect. If my husband had been home, or the landlord had been supervising, I feel pretty sure they wouldn’t have been doing that shit. They knew I saw them doing it, too, although I’ll bet they didn’t expect me to take photos.
So yes, I was pretty angry… I feel stressed and anxious when people come into my home, but I truly do try to cooperate. All I ask for is common courtesy and consideration. Those guys acted like I had no rights at all.
Honestly… I love living in Germany, and Bill has a good job that he enjoys. But I am really getting tired of being a renter and having to tolerate this kind of disrespectful, intrusive bullshit. I do understand that good help is hard to find, and these guys did do competent work. But the way they behaved while working in my home was unacceptable and inexcusable. I am still very upset about it, although the windows are at least done.
All I want is to be left alone. I don’t go out of my way to cause problems for people. I feel like I should be able to be in my own home without having handymen coming in and acting like total barbarians as they take over the house. I probably wouldn’t have minded that they camped out on my furniture if they had been courteous enough to ask. But they just took liberties. I wonder what they’re like when they have sex. They probably act the same way… with a total lack of consideration and decorum.
My first instinct yesterday was to yell at those guys to get off my furniture and go eat lunch in their truck. But I realized that if I did yell at them, they’d just tell our landlord that I refused to let them work. Because I did not confront them at the time, we got the work done. I’m sure they didn’t realize I got photos of them loafing in the backyard, sock clad feet on my chairs. I don’t know if the landlord will care. I know I would, if I was paying people to do a job for me, especially if their atrocious behavior was also negatively affecting people who were paying me.
I’m sure the landlord doesn’t think I do anything important with my time. Maybe that causes him to have less respect for me, the way our ex landlady apparently had less respect for me. As long as the bills are paid, I don’t see why it’s anyone’s business what I do all day, anyway. But, as anyone who follows this blog knows, I do actually do some things during the day. Maybe they aren’t things that other people think are important, but they’re important to me. It was a sacrifice for me to give up my quiet and privacy so that this work could be done on a house that I don’t own, but we pay a lot of money to rent.
I don’t know what I’m going to do the next time a big job needs to be done. I came very close to losing my shit this week. I wouldn’t have wanted to leave those guys alone in the house, either. They didn’t have respect for my home or possessions when I was here. Imagine what they would do if no one was watching them.
I feel anxiety about the guy coming today, too. I know moving isn’t the answer… but this week has made me want to move. Or just die, maybe. Dying would mean I don’t have to deal with this shit again. Seriously. I just want to be left alone. It’s really all I ask. If I can’t be left alone in my own home, I just don’t know what to do.
Anyway, those workers obviously needed to be supervised by someone with a penis. I get the sense that the older guy, who was blatantly rude to me, treats the women in his life like shit. I hope and pray I never have to see his face again. He probably told our landlord that I was acting like a hostile bitch for no reason, and the landlord just believed him, even though we’ve lived here for going on five years. I don’t act bitchy to people unless they give me good reason. Not honoring simple requests, blaring awful music, taking liberties with my possessions, leaving messes, acting like my dog and I are intruders in our own home, loitering in my backyard and in front of the house at the end of the day… those are all good reasons for me to be bitchy, in my opinion.
Bill says he is going to have a chat with our landlord about this… I’m sure the landlord just wanted to get the work done and, as usual, it seemed easiest to just inconvenience me and expect me to keep sweet. And when I wasn’t sweet, they just assumed that I’m the whole problem. Story of my fucking life since birth! Maybe I should have complained the minute they barged in without ringing the doorbell or parked their asses on my chairs. But, at that point, I just wanted the pain to end.
I’ve been having some health issues lately that make me think I probably should seek out a doctor’s services. But honestly, I think I’d rather just be beamed up out of this existence. I’m tired of being a problem to other people. And I realize it’s kind of disturbing and weird for me to write that, and maybe it’s strange for other people to read it… but it’s kind of how I feel right now. Welcome to chronic depression and anxiety. Those men treated me like I was less than nothing in my own home. Now, I feel depressed, hurt, and frankly, enraged. That’s no way to spend a Friday.
I’m on quite a roll this week. I noticed that yesterday’s headline got a lot more clicks than usual. I suspect today’s headline will also be provocative for some readers. I hope there’s more to today’s post than just a funny title, but we’ll see.
First, a little old business. I wish to update yesterday’s post about men peeing while sitting down. It seems that one Irish Times Facebook commenter from Ireland was quite put out that I wrote, jokingly, that German women “train” their men to sit down when they pee. He told me that was “absolutely false”. And yet, there’s a book written about the phenomenon, signs in public (and private) restrooms, and lengthy threads on social media platforms and message boards about how German men are expected to sit down when they urinate. I probably should have added a caveat that they sit if there isn’t a urinal for them to use.
Now, this topic actually isn’t that big of a deal to me, personally. I just think it’s kind of funny and interesting. I don’t insist that Bill sit down when he pees in the toilets at our house. He voluntarily does so sometimes because it’s easier for him. But I don’t actually care either way if Bill sits or stands, as long as he cleans up after himself. He’s very good about that, so this isn’t a subject that we discuss very often, except for when we see the signs in public men’s rooms and laugh about them. Below are just two such signs.
I’ve never seen this anywhere else but in southern Germany…
I posted the link to the book called German Men Sit Down to Pee. That was the end of it, as far as I was concerned. I went on about my day. Hours later, I got a notification that the Irish guy had come back. He left a comment along the lines of, “I see you weren’t able to ‘prove’ that German men are trained by their women to sit down to pee.” Then he added a link to some article about this topic “proving me wrong.”
The Irish guy caught me at the end of the day, so I “laughed” at him and wrote something akin to “Nah. It just isn’t that important to me. I just know what I’ve seen in many years of living in Germany.”
In fact, I was already over the subject hours earlier, so I hadn’t even read his “challenge” to prove that German men sit to pee. Men sitting down to pee was not really what the Irish Times article we were referencing was about, anyway. That article was a classic example of a headline being too inflammatory to actually get people to read the article. Everyone was too busy commenting on the title, instead of reading the op-ed that followed.
You’d think that would be the end of it, but no. This guy is apparently very triggered by the idea that a woman might dare tell a man what to do when he pees. Again, I don’t do that to Bill, because he cleans up after himself. That’s honestly all I care about. But the Irish guy obviously needed to have the last word on the subject… or, perhaps, the last piss? 😀
I didn’t bother to read Irish guy’s next comment. I think he’s a little psycho, and continued engagement with him might encourage me to further “take the piss”. 😉
Now, on with today’s fresh topic… SEX!!!
Today’s featured photo is a screen grab from the hilarious short film, “Laid-Off: A Day in the Life” by Odd Todd.
I’ve noticed that the God page has really gone downhill, lately. A lot of pages on Facebook have gone away from posting fresh, insightful, thought provoking content. Instead, they post endless “am I the asshole” posts from Reddit. I’m getting a little tired of that trend, myself. However, sometimes they do post some pretty funny AITA articles. This morning, I saw one that made me laugh. Behold:
It should be mentioned that the original post was removed. I don’t know if it’s because the answers this guy was getting about his “problem” were too embarrassing and humiliating, or because of Reddit’s spam filters. I didn’t read a lot of the responses to this post, because frankly I was too busy laughing. In three paragraphs, this guy has basically stated the following about himself:
He obviously thinks he’s a great lover and his wife isn’t a match for his virility.
He obviously thinks she’s not very attractive to other people. Or, he did until she started having sex with other men.
He’s selfish and entitled, and he thinks he “owns” his wife.
He lacks communication skills.
Sex is the only thing that is important to him in a relationship.
Other men know how to treat his wife better than he does.
He’s jealous and immature, and thinks his needs are the only ones that matter.
He’s a loser who’s about to be served with divorce papers.
He’d really like to watch his wife with other women.
She actually does want to have sex. Just not with her husband. I can’t say I blame her.
What does this clueless guy have in common with the Irish guy? On the surface, maybe it doesn’t sound like much. However, on closer examination, I see a certain similarity in their attitudes. Both guys are a bit overbearing, and obviously think women are beneath them.
The Irish guy acted like I owed him “proof” of the veracity of my offhand, joking comment about German men sitting down to pee. He was surprisingly insistent about it, continuing to try to engage me, even when I wrote that sitting down while peeing isn’t that earth shattering a topic and I don’t think it’s important enough to argue about it with a stranger from a strange land. 😀
The immature guy in the Reddit post obviously thinks that he doesn’t have to adhere to the same expectations he has for his wife. This comment pretty much says it all, doesn’t it?
“When I asked for her to also sleep with women or I’d want to close the marriage again she rolled her eyes and said no. One of the guys I fear is trying to seriously date her. He brings her flowers and food, pays for her nails and never even acknowledges me when he’s over. I feel like she’s dismissing my feelings and I’m getting frustrated. I want to close our marriage again.”
Um, guy,… maybe she felt a little “dismissed” when you said that after five years of marriage, she’d already given you all she had to offer, and though it’s “not her fault”, you expect to be allowed to have sex with other women at will. You “generously” ask to open the marriage and she generously obliges. Somehow, you are are shocked when she has more sex than you do… with other men, because she is “bisexual”, after all.
This guy doesn’t mention being interested in having sex with men. He’s apparently not bisexual. He doesn’t mind participating in sex with other women or watching his wife have sex with another woman… or women. He was clearly hoping she’d find him another woman with whom to get his jollies. Now, he’s basically accusing his wife of lying to him about her sexuality, because she’s been having sex with other men. He’s jealous, insecure, and frustrated. I’ll bet she can relate.
I don’t think this couple is going to survive unless he’s got something better going for him that compensates for being a totally insensitive clod. I hope she dumps his clueless, selfish, narcissistic ass, and hooks up with the guys (or gals) who treat her right. Life is too short for BAD sex. 😉
I’m glad that sex isn’t the only important thing in my relationship with Bill. Otherwise, we would have divorced a long time ago. Every day, he reminds me of why I love him so much. I could probably list a new reason every day without thinking too hard about it, but I think at the top of the list is the fact that he doesn’t just think of me as just a life support system for my vagina. Sometimes, when I read these AITA posts, I think that a lot of people are in very transactional relationships that aren’t based on love, friendship, or regard. How sad that is.
Well, it’s Thursday, so that means I have to vacuum later. I guess I’d better close this post and get on with it. Arran had his latest chemo last night. The vet was pretty sad to see that his lymph node is so big. He does seem more tired lately, but his blood work isn’t too bad at this point. The disease is progressing, but he’s in good spirits. I hate canine cancer. 🙁
Hi folks. Happy President’s Day. I am still trying to come up with today’s fresh topic, so here’s a repost from December 31, 2018. It’s a little dated, as Trump was still president when I posted it… However, the basic idea is still valid, as a lot of insecure people still have derogatory opinions about people who aren’t like they are. I posted fresh content on the travel blog, and maybe later, I will do so here, too. I just need to come up with something.
Last night, I was reading the comments on an article posted by the Army Times (I had linked it, but the link doesn’t work now) about retired General Stanley McChrystal, who warns about Trump’s plans to cut troops in Afghanistan. I honestly don’t know why I read the article, since this isn’t really a topic that interests me. I think I read it because I recognized McChrystal’s name. But anyway, as usual, I ignored the little voice in my head that always tells me to avoid reading the comments on news articles posted on Facebook, particularly by military types.
It’s no secret that a lot of military folks are die hard Republicans, even though the military lifestyle is a study in socialism. The government provides servicemembers with all sorts of benefits, ranging from housing to medical to educational. And yet, many military people are typically politically conservative. While there are many military servicemembers who are intelligent and thoughtful, and they vote for people over political parties, there are a lot of others who are doggedly persistent in voting for parties over people. Consequently, we end up with immoral and incompetent morons like Donald Trump as our president.
Adding insult to injury is the pervasive stupidity and sexism among some servicemembers. I see comment after comment, typically by insecure men, demeaning people whose opinions don’t line up with their world views. More than one male laments how the Army Times is becoming “liberal”, simply because like most other legitimate news sources, it doesn’t heap praise on Donald Trump or his cronies. And if one points out some of Trump’s many shortcomings, the insults fly with wild abandon, particularly if the other commenter is female.
One comment that I frequently see on publications such as the Army Times is, “Have you served?” It seems that according to some Facebook users, one must have signed up for the military to make a comment about any topic regarding the military. It doesn’t matter if one has been around military people from birth. A person’s experiences working with the military, being married to the military, or having been raised by the military means nothing to these lunkheads. Time after time, I see these uninformed folks bringing up the “oath” they recited to protect and defend the Constitution.
I bet a lot of servicemembers would be very surprised that I, as a returned Peace Corps Volunteer, took the very same oath on August 22, 1995 that they did when they joined the service. Thirty of my American colleagues were with me that day, as I swore “to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” Servicemembers are not the only ones who take that oath, nor are they they only ones who serve their country.
So what’s bringing on today’s rant? As I was reading people’s thoughts on General McChrystal’s comments regarding Trump’s leadership, I noticed an intelligent and coherent comment made by a brave woman, who wasn’t quick to dismiss McChrystal’s warnings. The man she was engaging immediately responded with, “Slow down there, Dependa!” I almost wish she’d responded with, “Speed up there, Numbnuts.”
For those who have not read my previous rants about the term “dependa”, and don’t know what it means, allow me to offer a quick explanation. “Dependa” is short for “dependapotamus”. It’s in reference to the term “dependent”, which is government-ese for the spouse and children of someone who is serving or has served in the military and receives benefits. There is a pervasive and specific stereotype of woman this term refers to. It’s generally a very uneducated woman who’s fat, ugly, and willing to put out for marriage to a military guy who will give her his benefits. She typically spends all his money, pops out babies, doesn’t have a job or go to school, and thinks her “job” is being a “proud military wife”, to the point of wearing t-shirts and putting “proud Army wife” bumper stickers on her SUV.
I have been around military folks my entire life. In truth, I haven’t run into too many people who fit the “dependa” stereotype, save for Bill’s ex wife. Last night, I read this very disrespectful article about the so-called “dependa” phenomenon. It kind of pissed me off, but at the same time, I have to admit Bill’s ex does fit the description quite well, at least when they first got married. And Bill, bless his heart, did fall for her bullshit, in part, because he was lonely. It’s true that I despise Bill’s ex wife, but if I’m honest and objective, she was a high school dropout; she has five kids by three men– all three of whom were once in the military; she did drain Bill’s bank account; and she was very interested in his benefits. But never mind that… I’m sure there must be others like Ex, since this is such a pervasive insult among military types.
What makes me sad, though, are the people who automatically label any spouse or family member a “dependa”. It doesn’t matter who she is (and it’s almost always a she). She could have a full time job and make more money than her husband does. She’s still a “dependa” in the eyes of some of these boneheads. She could have never had children, wear a size four dress, and be working on her Ph.D. She’s still a “dependa”, if she’s married to a guy in the military. And as a dependa, her comments are irrelevant and easily dismissed. Actually, a woman with education seems to be even more offensive to some of these folks. They complain about uneducated, unemployed women who act like leeches, but God forbid you go beyond a simple bachelor’s degree. Then, you don’t know your place and need to be knocked down a peg or two.
Anyway, I noticed that the guy who wrote “Slow down there, Dependa” must have been threatened by the intelligent remarks made by the woman he was addressing. I think if you must immediately insult a stranger in a retort to them, you must not be very sure of your own standing. To the woman’s credit, she defended her decidedly “not dependa” status, clarifying that she has a degree and earns as much money as her husband does. And she called him an “ass” for insulting her with that degrading label.
I would have included their exchange in this post, but by the time I went back to find it, it had disappeared. I wonder why. I haven’t noticed the Army Times deleting offensive comments, so maybe the guy who wrote “Slow down there, Dependa” felt badly for writing it. He should feel bad about that. Are there any women in his life that he loves? Would he want them to be called “dependa” or some other derogatory name, simply because of where her spouse works?
Some people probably think of me as a “dependa”, although I’m not uneducated and have never had children. I suppose it’s less offensive to me to be called that by people who’ve met me or even know me online. In fairness, I do sponge off of my husband, although I don’t spend his money on Coach bags or abuse the Tricare system.
But this was an exchange between two strangers. The guy who immediately tossed out the “dependa” insult didn’t even pretend to take the woman’s comments seriously. He simply made those comments because she’s female and married to someone in the military. And, it was very obvious to me that she way outpaced him in the intelligence department. That’s probably why he felt he had to insult her. He clearly couldn’t hold a candle to her mental acuity and couldn’t stand the idea that she’s obviously smarter than he is.
This is certainly not the only time I’ve written about this subject. Unfortunately, I’ve read a lot of sexist, demeaning, insulting, and downright nasty comments from men who lack the ability to be civilized on social media. It won’t change. I shouldn’t read comments on the Army Times… but on the positive side, at least this kept me from reading more blog posts by Roosh V.
I had an interesting Thursday, and not just because it was my day to vacuum the house. It was interesting because I did some thinking, and even became a little inspired. My Aunt Gayle sent an email containing a document written by my Granny years ago. The fifteenth anniversary of her death is approaching next week, so Gayle sent out “Granny’s notes”, which was basically a brief history of Granny’s long and fascinating life. Granny was born near Natural Bridge, Virginia and spent most of her life there, though she did have some brief sojourns to other places. She was the fifth of ten children, and the last of the children to die, at almost 101 years of age. Had she lived just 54 more days, she would have made it. But it was time for Granny to go, as she had obviously witnessed a whole lot in her life. I can’t imagine what she would think of what’s happening today.
My grandmother was born at a time when women couldn’t vote, and were thought of as little more than property to their fathers and husbands. She died in the age of the Internet. In her lifetime, she bore nine children, and outlived two of them. She saw a man walk on the moon. She watched cars take over horses and buggies. She traveled to England to visit my parents, my sisters, and me, stopping in Scotland and Ireland, to walk on land where her ancestors lived. What would she think about the way women’s rights are being rolled back today? Granny was a conservative lady, but she was always very smart and practical, and she had a sharp mind until the bitter end of her life. I don’t know what she thought of topics like homosexuality or abortion. I suspect she was more progressive than some people would have liked to have given her credit for being. I say that, knowing that she was born and raised in Rockbridge County, which is a very red part of Virginia.
When I got my aunt’s email last night, I thought of a woman I “met” on 23andMe. She and I are first cousins twice removed. It turns out my Granny’s brother, Ed, had a fling with a young woman who had come from Longwood University (then known as the State Teachers College) to Natural Bridge to teach school. Ed and the young woman conceived a baby girl, whom they surrendered for adoption in Roanoke, Virginia. The girl was adopted by a couple from Roanoke and grew up there, while Ed went on to marry another woman and have a son. I seem to remember hearing that Ed’s son died when he was still in his 20s, although that happened when I was still a glint in my dad’s eye. Ed died a few years before I was born.
The woman I “met” is the daughter of Ed’s “illegitimate” daughter (to use an antiquated term), who was given up for adoption. She is in her 70s now, and has a half sister. They live in Maryland. I hadn’t been chatting with her lately, mainly because after we exchanged information, there wasn’t much else to say. But Granny’s notes changed everything. I immediately contacted her on 23andMe and told her about the document, and asked her if she’d like me to send it to her, since Granny had written about her parents and grandparents– and they were also kin to her. She enthusiastically agreed, so I forwarded the document to her.
Then I thought about the rest of this woman’s incredible DNA story. Her mother had grown up in Roanoke, apparently unaware that she had been adopted from a couple in Rockbridge County. When she became an adult, she moved to Washington, DC to work, and there she met a young, dark haired man who worked for the Ecuadorian Embassy. They had a fling, and sure enough, she got pregnant. When she told her mother, her mother snapped “Just like your real mother!” That’s when she found out she wasn’t her mother’s natural child.
Unlike her biological parents, to include my great uncle and his girlfriend, my cousin’s mom chose not to give her daughter with the “Ecuadorian” up for adoption. So she grew up not knowing her dad, but assumed she was half Ecuadorian, since that was where he was from, and he definitely looked and acted the part. Many years later, when she took her DNA test, it turned out that actually, he was Ashkenazi Jewish! I guess his family had moved out of Germany to Ecuador as a means of avoiding Hitler.
Of course, it’s not lost on me that had this all happened years later, Ed’s girlfriend could have chosen to have an abortion, and I wouldn’t have this novel worthy story to tell. And the truth is, I don’t cheer for abortions. Personally, I like the idea of choosing life over an abortion. But I am against forcing women to give birth, because there are simply too many reasons why having a baby might be the worst decision. And so, I read stories about women who made that tough choice and agonized over it, or even laughed about it, as Alison Leiby has, having written a comedy show about her choice to have an abortion before Roe v Wade was overturned, and women’s rights became even more threatened than they already were.
Yesterday, I wrote about Alison Leiby’s op-ed in The New York Times titled “Please Laugh About My Abortion With Me”. I still think it’s an article well worth reading. I found it very thought provoking, and I think she’s very BRAVE to have written it, given how completely horrible and closed-minded some people are about this topic. For those who missed yesterday’s post and don’t want to read it, here’s another link to the unlocked article.
I noticed that a lot of people on Facebook were commenting on Leiby’s op-ed, but it appeared that very few had bothered to read it. It was behind a paywall, so that’s to be expected. Still, it’s disappointing when someone writes a piece that is thoughtful and interesting, and the masses– who can’t or don’t want to pay for a subscription– feel the need to make irrelevant comments about it. So I posted that I thought Alison Leiby’s excellent op-ed was “thought provoking”, and it’s a shame that few people appeared to have read it. Others who had read it gave me likes, while a few obvious pro-birthers gave me laughter.
Naturally, it wasn’t long before a guy named Steve decided to engage me. He immediately wrote a mocking post to me, asking what part of Leiby’s post I thought was thought provoking. His comment was full of the usual tripe about how Leiby is obviously an uncaring, irresponsible woman who made a poor choice in sexual partners and then cold-heartedly KILLED her baby. I laughed at that and wrote, “Didn’t read the article, huh?” Because I knew that if he had, he would find out that the piece was not about Alison’s decision to have an abortion, but rather how she had processed the experience, the difficulty of discussing abortion with others… and yes, LAUGHING about it. She’s a comedian, so tackling difficult topics with humor is literally what she does for work.
Steve came back at me with more hostility, accusing me of not having read the article, which I actually did. And then he demanded that I defend my pro-choice opinions to him, which I don’t have to do even when people ask me politely, let alone make demands. But I decided I wouldn’t be engaging him at all, when I noticed that in his snarky retort, he referred to me as a “chick”. Imagine that. I’m 50 fucking years old, and this “pro-life” man, who doesn’t even know me, just called me a CHICK! I’m not even a fellow human being to him. I’m a baby chicken who happens to have a uterus (for now, anyway). My Granny used to take care of “chicks” on her family’s farm. And then he expects me to have a thoughtful discussion with him about a topic as complicated as abortion is? I don’t think so.
My response was more or less, “I can answer the questions, but I am choosing not to, because it’s obvious to me that you just want to judge this woman’s very personal decisions. The fact that you just referred to me as a ‘chick’ gives me a pretty good idea about what you think of women. I couldn’t be less interested in interacting with you. Please leave me alone.”
To his credit, he did stop tagging me. It’s a good thing he did that, because if he hadn’t, I could have commented on the fact that not only does he dismiss and dehumanize women by calling them “chicks” when they’re being serious, he also doesn’t respect them when they say “no”. And this overbearing habit that some men have of not hearing the word “no” when a woman says it, is precisely why a lot of women need to seek abortions in the first place!
Fortunately for Steve, he did hear me when I asked him to leave him alone, and he complied with my wishes. Not every guy offline or on social media is even that respectful, so I guess I should be grateful that he knocked it off when I requested it. But it was quite clear to me that he hadn’t read the essay and was betting that I hadn’t, either. Then he had the nerve to try to demand that I interact with him. I wonder if he was ever like that on his dates.
Maybe I shouldn’t be so hard on ol’ Steve, though. It probably didn’t occur to him that calling me “chick” would trip him up on his path to the idyllic Land of Mansplaining Sanctimony. Like a lot of people, he failed to think ahead. Failure to think or plan ahead, is another reason why some women want or need to have abortions. It’s natural that this happens, and as Steve has proven, it’s not just the women who have this issue.
It occurs to me that Granny, who was a very strong, intelligent, wise, and hardworking woman who bore nine kids, probably had to deal with that kind of shit from men all the time. I know she had to deal with my grandfather, whom she had said was the “nicest man” when he wasn’t drinking. The trouble is, he was “always” drinking, and had a legendary temper. Or so I was told by his son, who was my dad. By contrast, Granny wrote in her notes that her own father was very quiet and gentle. Being married to “Pappy” must have been quite different to her, just as being married to my gentle husband is different for me. Like Pappy, my father was often very nice and kind, but he was also a severe alcoholic who could be brutal. Thankfully, he wasn’t physically abusive very often, although it was often enough.
I think about women who are still, even in 2022, when we have laws against domestic violence, trapped in horrific relationships with men who won’t take no for an answer. I think about women who are on their way to financial freedom, or finally have the achievement of a lifelong dream in their sights, or maybe can’t keep any food down because they have severe hyperemesis gravidarum, or any other medical issue, just wanting to make their own private decision about whether or not to be pregnant. If I had gotten pregnant with Bill’s baby, I would have been very happy about it. But if I had gotten pregnant after being date raped at a fraternity party, not so much (and no, that never happened to me, but it could have). Likewise, I served in the Peace Corps, where female Volunteers have been known to be sexually assaulted. I personally knew of one person who was raped when I was serving in Armenia. She didn’t get pregnant, but if she had, she would have been required to get an abortion at her own expense, or leave the Peace Corps.
And guys like Steve want to frame a narrative about how anyone who wants or needs an abortion is just some loose, slutty woman with no heart or morals, who “got herself pregnant” because she was “irresponsible”. Same guy wants to call me a “chick”, as he demands that I engage with him. I’ll bet he was expecting me to write something coherent and sensible, too, even though he degraded me by calling me a slang barnyard term for a young woman. It’s crazy! Why should anyone waste the time or energy?
#NEW: Documents confirm a 10-year-old girl received an abortion in Indianapolis on June 30. Reason for abortion was listed as “abuse.” Pregnancy termination report was filed on July 2 which means @drcaitbernard reported it to the state within 3 days as required by Indiana law. pic.twitter.com/UeUTGVxer8
I’ll bet that jerk, Rokita, hasn’t even apologized for his mistake, and decision to smear the good doctor’s name. She did a great compassionate service to a CHILD who was raped, not once, but TWICE! No ten year old is, in any way, prepared to have a baby! But Rokita isn’t about to humble himself. Instead, he’s “gathering evidence” to see if he can still nail Dr. Bernard for doing something that was obviously medically indicated. Guys like Rokita just want to put doctors and nurses in prison, don’t they? Misogyny is still alive and well in our country. I wish there was more empathy and decency!
At least in Ohio, some of the politicians are showing some remorse for their mistakes, having initially cast doubt on the girl’s story. But you know how remorse is, when it comes from a politician. It’s often pretty hollow. And Ohio is a state where a MALE legislator wanted to make properly treating ectopic pregnancies ILLEGAL. He wanted to plug and play non-viable embryos– technology that doesn’t exist. What makes me especially sick is that these dumbasses aren’t even learning from their mistakes. Ohio’s MALE attorney general, Dave Yost, was among those who doubted that a ten year old could get pregnant. Yes, they can, and this is one major reason WHY abortion should be allowed… and frankly, kept PRIVATE. There’s no reason why the whole world should have to know about this girl’s hellish torment, even if she is anonymous (for now). This is something that should have been kept confidential and dealt with by medical personnel, social workers, and law enforcement. It should not be a political football. And for Christ’s sake, she should not have had to go to another state to get an abortion done! Way to prolong and increase her pain, Ohio!
Some people, unbelievably, think that poor baby should have been FORCED to birth— and they have even said they would have “hoped” she would come to understand why birthing her rapist’s baby, when she’s ten years old, is the right thing to do. Naturally, it was a MALE lawyer named Jim Bopp who said that. That shit regularly happens in developing countries, not the United States! And even those countries are reevaluating their draconian positions on abortion.
So, you see, we still have a long way to go… in spite of the great wisdom in Granny’s notes and the great progress she personally witnessed in almost 101 years of living. I truly do wonder what she would think of how things are today. Reversing Roe v Wade has opened a huge Pandora’s Box. I really hope we can get this mess straightened out for the women of the future. But at least I know it won’t affect me personally. I haven’t had a period in about two months. I think very soon, Aunt Flow will finally become a guest from my past. And I thank God for that on so many levels.
In other news… Ivana Trump suddenly died yesterday in what appears to be very suspicious circumstances. It was curiously announced by her most famous ex husband, Trump, who disseminated the news on Truth Social, his very own social media platform. It seems curious that she died so suddenly, weeks before Trump is expected to announce another run at the presidency. But I’m sure the details will come out soon enough. Maybe it’s a coincidence, like Jeffrey Epstein’s suicide was. I know that many idiots will still happily vote for Trump, even though it’s very obvious that he’s a liar, a cheat, and unhinged to the nth degree. I think the people who keep supporting him will eventually find themselves on the wrong side of history. I think if he wins again, it will be a disaster. Hopefully, the saner people in the Republican Party will keep him from running for the Republicans. They already know he can’t be controlled… and I’ll bet he’s paid for MANY abortions.
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