LDS, lessons learned, mental health, music

Turn it off!

Yesterday, after I finished my hated vacuuming chore, it was time for lunch. Bill had dressed for work, as he spent the morning teleworking and planned to go into the office for a few hours. We often have lunch together before he goes, and he was making me a sandwich. Just as he was about to bring it to me, he dropped some of it on the floor, which I had just dry vacuumed with the Dyson and cleaned with the Tineco wet/dry vacuum (a new toy I just bought).

“FUCK!” Bill yelled in a very annoyed tone of voice. “Goddammit! You just cleaned the floor! Shit!”

I don’t know why, but that little explosion of profanity just struck my funny bone so hard and I started laughing hysterically. Arran came up and cleaned the floor for me. He did a good job, too. You’d think I would have been upset about the mess and the cursing, but I actually think it’s hilarious when Bill swears. When I met him, he was a Mormon. Now he’s a heathen like me.

I asked Bill if his still devout Mormon daughter ever swears. He said no, when she feels like cussing, she starts thinking of Jesus or humming Mormon hymns. I remember hearing this the one time I met the girls. They said that whenever they have any “bad” thoughts, they sing a hymn. That supposedly squelches the “bad” impulse to use a word that some people had declared “naughty”. That brings to mind a song from The Book of Mormon, which rather brilliantly sums up how members of the LDS church “turn off” inappropriate or “bad” thoughts or impulses.

This song is so perfect… and so accurate.

Funny… I just watched the above performance of “Turn It Off” by this very talented group of young men. The song is often hilarious, yet it’s also so poignant on many levels. As they finished their number, I sat here with real tears in my eyes. I can just tell that a lot went into making this performance what it is– everything from the little movements as if they were “turning off” switches to the show stopping dance moves and solos. But the lyrics to this song are so very true for so many of us, but particularly those who are dealing with very difficult life situations that might cripple anyone else.

I remember years ago, reading a book about the late Karen Carpenter, who famously grew up in very close-knit and controlling circumstances. In every book or documentary I’ve seen about the Carpenters, I’ve heard that she had a very overbearing mother who was involved in everything Karen did. And one person who knew Karen had said that if she’d just let loose with a good “fuck you!”, maybe she wouldn’t have gotten so sick with anorexia nervosa, which ultimately led to her premature death at age 32.

Hell, I remember reading in that same book about how, after Karen made a self-titled solo album in 1979, she asked if she was allowed to swear. When she was granted permission, Karen reportedly gleefully said to the producer, Phil Ramone, “That album is fucking great!” Karen’s solo album had a disco song on it called “My Body Keeps Changing My Mind”, which is supposedly a big hit at gay bars. People go fucking nuts when it comes on. Why? Because Karen Carpenter, who was a study in putting out heartfelt, deeply emotional, very serious, and even sad songs was having fun. She was letting loose with something kind of ridiculous, and it was obviously something she enjoyed doing.

Someone cleverly set Karen’s song to clips of her when she was alive.

Unfortunately, Karen’s album never saw the light of day until 1996, when it was finally made available for sale. That was 13 years after her death. Her brother, Richard Carpenter, had been in rehab at The Menninger Clinic in Topeka, Kansas (it’s since moved to Houston, Texas) for Quaalude abuse, while Karen was making her album. Richard had asked Karen not to do disco. He and the rest of the Carpenters’ handlers hadn’t liked Karen’s album, so they scrapped production of it. Maybe if they had let Karen spread her wings a bit– utter a few swear words and cut loose– she might not have become so ill. Or maybe she still would have. Unfortunately, the world will never know what might have happened. Still, I don’t think a hearty “fuck you” from Karen, particularly toward those who tried to squelch her authentic voice and control her, would have done her any harm.

Famed German psychiatrist, Hilde Bruch, wrote a book about anorexia nervosa called The Golden Cage. I think the idea of a “golden cage” is an excellent description of what it’s like to be oppressed, yet living in comfortable circumstances. The cage might be beautiful and comfortable– comprised of a mother’s love, an audience’s respect, or lots of money, but when it comes down to it, it’s still a cage. And while being physically comfortable is a very important part of enjoying life, being able to be one’s true self and cut loose a bit, without being pressured to “turn it off” and pretend, is a major stepping stone to true happiness. It takes a lot less effort to simply relax and be oneself, than be fake and constrained by convention, only doing what is socially acceptable and “correct”. But being too “free” can lead to some consequences, as well as lots of pressure to conform to the status quo.

I read Dr. Bruch’s book, The Golden Cage, many years ago. I wasn’t that impressed with the book, even at a time when I was fascinated by eating disorders. I found it a dull read, at best. However, I do think the title is excellent. It’s probably the best thing about the book, and I think it describes a lot of people who are kept from living their best lives because they are afraid to give up comfort and safety. The mortifying idea of upsetting the apple cart, or doing something embarrassing, “inappropriate”, or “offensive to God” keeps a lot of people from experiencing all they could… or should. Imagine what would happen if people simply allowed themselves to feel the bad things instead of crushing them down or numbing them with drugs, alcohol, or bullshit speak. I think we might have a lot more mentally healthy people and even more happiness.

In any case, I did laugh heartily at Bill’s profane outburst yesterday. I don’t always like it when he cuts loose with cursing. That will surprise some people, since I cuss like a sailor. But in my case, I don’t think it’s the cursing that bothers me as much as hearing him being angry. It reminds me of my dad.

I had a dream about my dad this morning… I dreamt I had decided to go to a nice hotel in my hometown (which probably doesn’t actually exist), sit in the bar, and drink. Then, I decided to stay the night. But I remembered thinking that I should call my dad to tell him and maybe even ask permission! Even in my dream, I knew that I shouldn’t have to ask permission. I remembered thinking to myself that I was a 48 year old woman, and if I wanted to stay the night, I could… and I didn’t have to have anyone’s approval. I even remember thinking that they were going to charge me for the room, anyway, so I didn’t have to go home (my parents’ home that I grew up in). My thrifty dad wouldn’t have wanted me to waste the money, either. Still, I was hesitant, even though the hotel was an oasis of mask free people enjoying life.

When I woke up, I realized that my dad is dead and I was in my own bed, and, when my dad was alive, I had actually said the word “fuck” in front of him. He almost knocked me into the next week when I did so, but that was also the time in which I told him that if he ever laid a finger on me again, I’d have him arrested. And I realized that I became a lot more contented when I started realizing that not being liked by everyone isn’t the end of the world. In fact, it’s freeing as hell not to have to worry about what other people think of me, even if I do sometimes fall back into that habit. I figure, if people don’t like me for who I am, they won’t like the fake version of me, either. And really, it’s not my problem if they don’t like me. It’s more their loss than mine… or, if you prefer, “it’s not me; it’s them.” As long as a person isn’t trying to be cruel or hateful or doing something obviously harmful to others, I think they should be allowed to be who they are, even if they cuss in the process. Being authentic is what makes people unique and interesting… and free.

Bill is one of the kindest, gentlest, most genuinely decent people I’ve ever known. He’s always a gentleman, and would never intentionally hurt anyone, unless it was a matter of life and death for himself or someone he loved. But even he sometimes has to go off with a little cussing spree. I’m glad that no one was ever able to turn him into someone who feels compelled to “turn it off” like a light switch. Or, if he ever did feel that way, he’s learned to break the switch.

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silliness

What do you suppose this means?

I’m not going to write about the impeachment acquittal right now. It’s Valentine’s Day and Sunday and I’m just not in the mood. I’m not the least bit surprised by the outcome… and yes, I am disgusted, but I don’t want to dwell on it. Instead, I want to write about another one of my bizarro dreams.

TMI– I am in the midst of my period right now. That means I had a rather restless night. I got up probably half a dozen times to use the bathroom, which is pretty much my custom when Aunt Flow is making her presence known. The sad thing is, we had nice clean sheets. I usually sleep very well when the sheets are crisp and clean. Not so much last night.

Anyway, in the wee hours of the morning, I had a weird dream. I don’t remember everything about it. What I do remember was that I was in an airport. It seemed kind of like the Stuttgart Airport, only it was a lot more expanded than I know it is at the moment. Also, there was a lot of wood paneling everywhere… and soft lighting. That is not like the Stuttgart Airport at all.

I dreamt there was a hotel at the airport. I had made arrangements to stay there. I got off the plane, tired and cranky, but then somehow got turned around and couldn’t find my bags. Bill and I also weren’t together. He was coming on a different flight later. So I went searching for my bags and was told they were in some room. I think the room was called the Oracle Room– a brown haired, brown eyed bearded man, pushing a push broom, told me. The guy was friendly, but kind of no nonsense.

So I got my bags and checked into my hotel room. Later, I went out for awhile, and when I came back, there was a strange woman about to open the door, as if she had also been assigned room 40. I told her that was my room. She argued with me, but then left with a resigned sigh when she noticed all of my baggage already there.

It was about time for Bill to arrive, so I went searching for him. I finally found him and we ended up on some kind of weird transport vehicle on the tarmac. It was kind of like a motorcycle, only we had no helmets. The thing ran on its own power, so we were horrified as it careened under a jet and propelled into a barrier. Bill’s legs were crushed. He was screaming. I was screaming. No one would help us.

Bill and I finally somehow got into the airport. Once again, I had to go looking for his bags, which weren’t in the usual baggage claim area. I stopped some guy who looked like he worked at the airport. He had scraggly hair and was a bit overweight, wearing a dirty white tuxedo. I asked him where to find the bags and he laughed at me and walked away. Then I saw the guy pushing the broom, who explained that the bags were moved, again to the Oracle Room.

Suddenly, the airport was full of people. No one wore a face mask, including me. And I distinctly remember thinking that I was going to get COVID-19 and probably die of it. I got the bags and, at about that time, woke up.

I seem to make a habit out of having weird dreams on Valentine’s Day. According to my Facebook memories, this was the one I had last year…

I had a very vivid dream this morning involving Nicole… I went to her house and there was a lot of gymnastics equipment set up. She was having a birthday party for some kids. All of the kids were on the autism spectrum. She came out with a cake made entirely out of unusually flavored Pop Tarts. She told me which ones I could take, since a few were especially for certain kids who liked certain flavors. I remember one special Pop Tart was mint!

Nicole is an old neighbor of mine and a friend. She’s a wonderful mom and a very good friend to a lot of people… one of those folks who is blessed with many allies because she is such a good person. She’s one of the few neighbors I’ve had and have actually really missed over the years. When I posted about that dream last year, she clarified that making a Pop Tart cake would make her the coolest mom on the block… and that I would be welcome to take any Pop Tart I wanted. Where the Pop Tart reference comes from, I will never know. I haven’t had one of those in ages.

Well… we usually do something special for Valentine’s Day. In the past, we’ve gone to a beer spa in the Czech Republic and we’ve gone to France a couple of times. In fact, we went to France in 2019 and 2020, mainly because Valentine’s Day coincided with President’s Day weekend. Most years, if we don’t travel, we have a nice dinner somewhere in a restaurant, although last year’s Valentine’s Dinner was not romantic at all. This year, I’ll be lucky if I get a Five Guys burger… which actually suits me fine, I guess. I’m pretty tired of this lifestyle, though. I miss traveling and new experiences. Maybe that’s why I dreamt of the airport… not that I especially want to fly under these conditions.

Last year, we went to Strasbourg, France for the annual wine expo, in which representatives from wineries all over France come to sell their wares. It was our first time going and it was overwhelming, but fun. This year, they have postponed it until June. The French are serious about their wine. We came home with about 40 bottles. We should have bought more, but Bill was worried about transporting them and storing them.

I’d like to pick up some more Pommard wine, myself…

Ah well… maybe 2022 will be better. For now, enjoy your VD, and may all your weird, vivid dreams be harmless.

I always do…

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dogs, lessons learned, psychology

What are the odds?

Last night, I read an article about elderly people who suddenly find themselves homeless since the advent of COVID-19. The piece, which appeared in The New York Times, featured the story of a man named Miles Oliver who lived in Phoenix, Arizona. Originally from Chicago, Oliver came to Arizona by way of the Army over thirty years ago, when he was a new recruit assigned to Fort Huachuca. He liked Arizona and decided to stay there once his stint with the Army was finished.

According to The New York Times article, Mr. Oliver had been able to make a life for himself in Arizona by working day labor jobs and delivering pizzas for Papa John’s. But then COVID-19 struck and Oliver was soon out of work. To make matters worse, work had already been slow in February, before things really started to get bleak in terms of the virus. Oliver was soon face with the difficult decision of either paying his rent or paying his car note, $230 for a 2007 Ford Fusion. He decided to pay the car note, since it was a source of shelter and transportation. By the end of April, he was kicked out of his home, forced to grab just a few necessary items– reading glasses, socks and underwear, and Metformin for his blood sugar, before he hit the streets in his car. By late June, his car quit working.

Oliver has an ex wife and two children. His older son is estranged and hasn’t spoken to him in years. His younger son is a student and in no position to help him. He doesn’t speak to his ex wife. He has diabetes and sleep apnea, and although he is a veteran and qualifies for some benefits, his future looks dim.

As I read about Mr. Oliver’s plight, it occurred to me that he’s about Bill’s age. Once again, I was reminded of how quickly and drastically things can change. I’ve been doing what I can to mitigate the risks that someday, I’ll find myself homeless. I looked at Bill and said, “You know what? I think if I were in that situation, I’d be tempted to just check out.” I said this mainly because although I am not necessarily estranged from my family, neither am I particularly close to them. I don’t have children, and although I am well-educated and privileged, I was never able to parlay that into a job that paid me enough to live on. If I couldn’t do it 20 years ago, how can I do it now? And why would I want to? Without Bill, I’m not sure why I’d stick around this hellhole we call Earth, which is swirling with plagues, natural disasters, and selfish, shitty politicians like Trump and Mitch McConnell.

Bill, who is eternally optimistic and has survived some pretty dim odds himself, gave me a pained look. Although he knows I suffer from depression and that makes me look on the dark side of things, I don’t think he’s ever gotten used to that unfailingly pragmatic aspect of my personality. It’s also kind of anti-American to “give up” on life. Bill has never felt the urge to off himself, despite his brush with death when he was a teenager. I, on the other hand, used to feel suicidal somewhat often. I’ve often felt ambivalent and apathetic about life. I was told more than once that I wasn’t wanted by the people who were responsible for creating me. They later came to appreciate me, but those comments left a deep scar that has affected my self-worth. And I just feel like if I were in a situation as an old woman without a home, family, or friends, I wouldn’t want to bother going on. But then I started thinking about it some more and realized that maybe I was wrong to think that way.

I thought about all of the challenges facing Mr. Oliver. He’s an older Black man, with no family able to help him and, it appears, few friends. He’s got health problems, but no money or resources to take care of them. There’s a pandemic raging, and we have a president who doesn’t care about people. And yet he is clearly a survivor. He has reached out for assistance. His story was told in The New York Times. Maybe I got the wrong message.

After I told Bill about why I felt it would be more expedient to “check out” than try to rebuild life as a homeless person, I looked behind me at Noizy. He’s still stuck in the corner of our living room, slowly getting braver by the day. I started to think about how he’d once been a homeless puppy, weaned too early from his mother, and left to die in a country where dogs aren’t appreciated. It’s kind of a miracle that he’s here with us in Germany. What are the odds?

Noizy was brought to his American rescuer, Meg, by a young man in Kosovo who had seen him in the street, screaming for help. He brought the puppy to Meg because he didn’t know where else to take him. Kosovo has a big problem with street dogs, but the culture doesn’t support animal rescue too well. Many people in Kosovo are Muslim and many Muslims consider dogs impure and unclean. Meg didn’t need another puppy to take care of, but she decided to keep Noizy anyway. She watched him grow from tiny puppy to gigantic adult. I’m sure she wondered what his future would hold.

And then, Bill and I came along, looking for a new canine friend. We had just tragically lost a dog we’d tried to adopt, one who was much closer to the type of dog we usually take into our home. It took some time for us to decide we really wanted another dog, and it was definitely not our plan to adopt a big dog– especially one as large as Noizy is. But once I saw Noizy’s face, I was hooked. There was something about his eyes that touched my heart. I have never been sorry when I’ve taken in a dog, and every single one we’ve adopted touched me through a photograph.

I started thinking about all of the people who came together to see that Noizy found a home. He spent 18 months living on a farm in Kosovo, one of many dogs living there, cared for by a farmer who has a soft spot for dogs and was willing to help Meg, who had moved from Kosovo to Germany and couldn’t take her rescues with her. She had paid for the dogs to be taken care of on the farm while she looked afar for potential rescuers. Most of these dogs haven’t lived as pets in a home.

I just happened to have a friend who knew Meg and introduced us. I met this friend in Stuttgart a few years ago, again by chance. We’ve only seen each other in person once, but our mutual friend is very involved in dog rescue herself and has a couple of exotic dogs from far flung countries like Thailand and Afghanistan. She told Meg that one of her dogs would be very lucky to be placed with us. It was like the stars aligned.

I just met Meg in person the other day. She is very impressive. Somehow, she has managed to develop a powerful network of people in Kosovo, Serbia, Slovenia, and Croatia who have helped her on her mission to save some street dogs. What are the odds that a tiny puppy like Noizy would end up in Meg’s care? What are the odds that she would be found by a local young man who cared about the puppy’s life enough to seek her out? It was much more likely that the noisy puppy would have languished and died.

Even once we’d decided when to pick up Noizy, there were challenges. First, there was the whole COVID-19 situation, which is causing countries to shut their borders again. Fortunately, that didn’t affect us during our trip, although it as definitely a concern. And then, when Meg was bringing Noizy and two other dogs up to Slovenia to hand off to Bill and me, her car broke down. Another American couple (younger and able to take another day to travel) drove an extra 400 kilometers to help Meg get the dogs to Slovenia. They drove all night, very slowly, to make it happen.

Soon Noizy was in the back of our Volvo, with our other dog, Arran, looking pissy in the back seat. On his first night in our home, Noizy was obsessed with going outside. It’s what he knew. He hugged the door to our yard, taking every opportunity to go out. He bumped his head on the glass, apparently because he’d never seen a glass door before. Within 24 hours, he clearly preferred being indoors rather than outdoors. He’s staked out a part of our living room and won’t venture beyond that area. But every time he sees me, he looks delighted and wags his tail excitedly. He rolls on his back for a belly rub. He’s learned how to drink from a water bowl and eat from a dish. He’s even been pretty good (but not perfect) with peeing and pooping outside. Noizy is clearly game for the challenge of learning how to be a pet.

A few days ago, Bill had an epiphany about Noizy. In 2012, when we were vacationing in Scotland in honor of our tenth wedding anniversary, we got the devastating news that our beagle/basset hound mix, MacGregor, had a spinal tumor. At the time, we lived in North Carolina. Vets had told us before we left for our trip that they thought MacGregor had disk disease. If we had known it was a tumor (which they only discovered after he had a MRI), we probably would have made other choices about our vacation.

The night we found out about the cancer and the vet’s suggestion that we euthanize MacGregor, Bill had a nightmare. He dreamt he was being chased by many dogs. He thought they wanted to hurt him, so he initially threw rocks at them. But then he realized they weren’t trying to attack him at all. They all needed help. One dog in particular was kind of eerie looking. He had gleaming eyes, but he wasn’t menacing.

The next morning, we got off the Hebridean Princess and took a taxi to Edinburgh. As we were passing the lovely town of Stirling, Bill considered his dream and what it meant. He knew it meant we were going to be helping dogs… perhaps even a lot of them. As he thought more about his dream while we rode toward Edinburgh, Bill came to assume that the gleaming eyed dog represented death, which will always be there whenever there’s a living creature involved in a situation. The dream has stuck with him almost eight years later. This past Sunday, as we were driving to Germany with Noizy and Arran, Bill said “You know what? That dog in my dream looked a lot like Noizy.”

Later, Bill told Meg about his dream. Meg, who studies Jungian psychology, offered her take on it. Then she told us about what Noizy meant to her and how he came to be in her care. I hope Meg doesn’t mind that I share this one bit from her explanation… because I have been thinking about it a lot over the past few days. She wrote that to her, Noizy represents hope for the future. He should have died on the street, but he screamed for help (hence his name). A young man, native to a country that doesn’t necessarily appreciate dogs, came to his rescue and gave him to Meg, a woman who rescues dogs.

Why did the young man give Noizy to Meg? Because he had hope that Meg could save the puppy and give him a future. The alternative was to let him die. Meg told us that a lot of the young people of Kosovo don’t have a lot of hope. They are in a country that isn’t recognized everywhere yet. Their country is troubled, and the young people wonder if anyone cares about them.

Why did Meg give Noizy to us? She said it was hard for her. I could tell she was very emotional when we took him. He’s a big, powerful dog, though, and Meg has many dogs who need homes. Meg is also retired and has physical and financial limitations that may preclude taking care of Noizy the way we can. Even though we’re doing fine so far, I wonder what the future holds for us. I’m no spring chicken myself. 😉 But I do have plenty of time, and Bill and I– at least for now– have a secure home and money for food, vet care, and anything else Noizy needs. So we’re going to do our best to make sure that young man’s hope for Noizy will not be unfulfilled.

And maybe I can learn a lesson from Noizy, too. Against all odds, he’s up here in Germany, about to live his best life… to the best of our ability to give it to him. We’re an unlikely match. Bill and I have always had beagle mixes, after all… and we’re renters with a somewhat nomadic lifestyle. But I think I can teach Noizy a thing or two, and he can teach me even more than that. At the very least, he can teach me that maybe “checking out” isn’t the best thing to do when one is suddenly homeless or facing another major adversity.

I hope Miles Oliver finds what he needs to start over and live his best life with whatever time he has left. And I thank him for his story, which affected me more than I realized when I read it last night.

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musings

“We wish you would just leave…”

I had a strange dream this morning. It was strange because as I was dreaming, I got the sense that I was experiencing a memory. Like, as I was having this very vivid dream, I was remembering something that happened in a different dream. For all I know, the “memory” I was having was actually something I dreamt this morning, but I got the sense it was an old memory from a dream that happened months or weeks ago. Who knows? The mind is a weird thing.

The dream I had involved my being in college. For some reason, I’ve been having a lot of college related dreams recently. I was an English major, as I was when I was a college student. For some reason, I was at a banquet of some kind, and there was a group of women at another table. They were kind of bitchy to me. I noticed them looking over at me, rolling their eyes, and being nasty. This has been kind of a normal experience for me throughout my life. I often don’t fit in to groups.

In my dream, I remembered that at a prior banquet, I’d gotten upset about something and made a scene that caused a ruckus. These women apparently hadn’t forgotten. They were jeering at me from afar.

Suddenly, a waiter appeared in front of me. He looked Italian and was kind of pudgy, with big, sad, brown eyes. He poured some water for me and handed me a note. I read it and immediately became enraged. The leader of the bitchy girls club at the other table had written a mean-spirited note to me that said something along the lines of, “You’re so inappropriate. We hate having you here because you embarrass us. We wish you would just leave.”

Just before I woke up, I remember reading the note, getting really pissed off, and making a huge scene. Then I stormed out of the banquet, cursing those bitches who sent me the note.

I woke up this morning and had to sit there in bed for a minute, trying to remember if this had actually happened when I was conscious or if it was just a dream. I eventually concluded that the scenario I dreamt about never did happen in real life. However, there have been times in my life when I have gotten that sentiment from people. Most of the time, the people who have expressed that sentiment to me were people I didn’t care that much about anyway, but sometimes it came from people I thought were friends or loved ones.

Very interesting… This video is more about racism and bullying, but it definitely shows the shame decent people feel when others are cruel. I think it was shared by Upworthy in 2015. I had to unfollow Upworthy, though, because too much of their stuff was shaming.

I was reminded of a video a friend shared with me a few years ago. It was about a guy who got a note in a foreign language, in this case, Lithuanian, that he couldn’t understand. He asked native speakers to translate it for him, and they hesitated because what was written was mean-spirited and cruel. It was a “hate” note. The video was actually an experiment that was being done to show whether or not people had empathy. It was interesting to see how the people reacted when the man, who could only speak English, asked the Lithuanians to tell him what the note said.

I think empathy is lacking in a lot of people. People usually have the most empathy for the most innocent. I notice that this time last year, many of my Facebook and some blog posts were about abortion. A year ago, that was what was all over the news. Many states were trying to pass incredibly strict anti-abortion laws that were only in favor of the unborn. They had no understanding or compassion for the woman carrying the fetus. I suppose some people might rationalize that abortion is the ultimate rejection… when a woman decides to terminate a pregnancy, she is rejecting life for an innocent being that has taken up residence in her womb. To some people, it’s the ultimate “We wish you would just leave.” note.

On the other hand, women who make that choice are often made to feel shame and dishonor. It doesn’t matter what her reasons are. To some people, women who have sex and get pregnant should be ready to be mothers. And those who aren’t ready and consider abortion are not worthy of compassion and kindness. Evidently, even people who are confronted with tragic situations, such as the life of the mother being threatened or the developing fetus being so malformed that giving birth would be cruel, are not given that consideration.

I hadn’t actually meant to write about abortion or racism today. I really just wanted to put that vivid dream down in my blog, since I know I’ll forget it soon. I had forgotten all about that racism video from 2015. Bill often tells me that dreams are your brain’s way of dumping the trash. I’m not sure where that dream came from this morning… although I have experienced people being mean to me. I’m sure I’ve been mean to people, too. Sometimes, I’ve been accused of being mean, when I wasn’t… which is very upsetting to me. I don’t enjoy being mean, even if I am sometimes pretty irritable and cranky.

Ah well… time to write a fresh book review.

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musings

Funky residues of strange dreams…

This morning, I was looking through my Facebook memories, and I came across a rather bizarre one. On this day in 2012, I have a very strange dream that I decided to go back to graduate school and earn a third master’s degree. But to get to the town where the school was, we had to drive through an abandoned town that had a bunch of kitschy stuff in it. It looked like it was something out of a horror film.

A former Facebook friend, who was still friends in 2012, wrote that he, too, had a strange dream that night. It involved the late Beatrice Arthur, you know– Dorothy Zbornak on The Golden Girls. This dude dreamt that he’d had sex with her, and she had smeared blue eyeshadow all over her nipples!

I asked him if she was living or dead when they had their encounter. He said she was still living, at which I expressed relief, since sex with a dead Bea Arthur would have been truly odd. I don’t think it occurred to me to ask him if Bea was young or old during their tryst. My guess is that he had sex with the Golden Girls version of Bea, since that was the character he related her to when he’d described his dream to me.

Sexy…

A few years ago, this guy– not someone I knew personally, but someone I “met” on the Recovery from Mormonism messageboard, decided to unfriend a lot of people. He said it was mostly because of his ex wife stalking him and invading his privacy. Apparently, one of his “friends” was a mole, passing along his postings to his ex wife, who then tried to use them in their custody dispute. Because of this violation of trust from a “friend” who turned out to be a stool pigeon, my former friend decided that he could no longer trust most of his social media contacts.

I was one of the people he unfriended, which to be honest, wasn’t that much of a hardship for me. I didn’t know the guy very well, aside from a few conversations we had on social media. He had seemed like a nice person… a proud father of a couple of young boys. Though he was American, he lived in Norway, which was where he’d done a Mormon mission in the 1990s. He’s fluent in Norwegian and was once married to a local, but they later divorced. According to my former Facebook friend, his ex wife is a jealous, petty, vindictive bitch who won’t leave him alone. So that forced him to go “underground” and unfriend people he doesn’t know personally.

I can relate to my old friend’s need to “hide”. I’ve felt that way myself over the past year or so. There are people out there invading my privacy and violating my trust, too, although my situation doesn’t involve minor children or ex spouses, nor do I think I’m in any actual danger. In my case, it’s more of an annoyance than anything else. At the time this guy disassociated with me, I couldn’t relate to his situation. I can, now. I definitely have some empathy.

I haven’t really missed this guy’s presence on my social media… although I think if we were friends today, I would ask him to tell me more about his thoughts regarding Bea Arthur and the blue eye shadow he dreamt was all over her nipples. I love a good discussion about weird dreams. Today’s featured photo even kind of looks like an areola, too.

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