I am not the most politically inclined person, however, this political season has me as enthralled as a Shonda Rhimes drama on ABC. To me, it’s like the Titans in the Gladiator Battles in the Coliseum in Ancient Rome. The glossy, gladiator-like candidates enter the Coliseum, donned in their best battle gear, supported by their patrons who wave their flags, wear their t-shirts and sport their bumper stickers on the backs of their chariots. And one by one, each polished contestant picked off by the media lions, the carrions whisking away their mauled cadavers with nary a trace. Emperor Establishment looks on, weary from the lack-luster efforts of so many contestants who under-served his agenda. Some gladiators, his lions ravaged far too swiftly for his taste, earning them none of his respect. No, he preferred those they took apart slowly, carefully, pulling apart each seam, picking each bone with precision. It was those he could laugh at, those he could mock for even attempting to be something the audience at the Coliseum thought it wanted. Emperor Establishment knows what the people want; it’s what he wants and nothing more. It hurts his ears; how loud they scream! How they pound their fists and stomp their feet for the gladiators that he most desperately doesn’t want to see rule the ring. But he keeps them there, though unwillingly, because if he doesn’t the crowd might rise up, they might take a stand and they might make the Coliseum collapse. The rules of the land dictate that they have a voice and a choice and that their word matters. So long as he allows them to think their candidate stands a chance and the odds are fair, the spectators will remain captive to the status quo. Sure, they will grumble among themselves. They will pick sides. They will argue to the point of violence about who they feel the best gladiator is. Some will stoop to shaming others, some will bow to apathy, still others will take advantage of the unrest and confusion and stick their hand out expecting other spectators to fill their palms. But so long as the dissent doesn’t reach Emperor Establishment’s doorstep, the moaning of the masses means nothing. But for some reason, the underdogs, the untrained, unpolished gladiators, the “outsiders” are beating Emperor Establishment’s best fighters. Not all the time, not handily, but they keep taking chunks of the armor of the Emperor’s favorites. But should the media lions fail to successfully poison the opinions of the public, the Emperor still has one last trick up his sleeve, the unbound, super snakes. The snakes that the spectators in a few sections of the Coliseum had the chance to vote for. The Emperor gave them a choice to choose the snakes that would represent them in situations like this. And they chose their favorite snake, allowing it to choose, without their further consent, which fighter the snake would strike down and which the snake would spare for the Emperor’s final Battle Of Champions. But to Emperor Establishment’s shock, even the elected super snakes are not all favoring the Emperor’s choice. And the Establishment’s gladiator’s are being forced to leave the circle. The Emperor no longer can choose a thumbs up or down through an exertion of his authority; the will of the people, according to the rule of the land, will make the final decision. And with that decision, they can crumble the Establishment and rebuild it into the representation they truly desire. This leaves the Emperor, quaking in his sandals made of leather and built in China, because he’s dominated for so long, he never thought his people, those he represents, would use their inalienable rights to invoke true change. Look, I am no fan of any of my choices this upcoming November. In fact, I find them each in their own way. repulsive. I will need to meditate thoroughly on who I will cast a ballot for. But not because I am voting FOR that candidate, but rather against the other. I will not cast a vote for someone because I’ve watched their TV show or stayed in their hotel or gambled in their casino. Nor will I vote for someone because we share genitalia or because she’d be the “first”. I don’t feel that any of these are reasons to vote for anyone ever. But among the quick sand that is the political “gladiator” arena, there are a couple of things this election has shown me that have given me faith in American politics. Anyone can run for President. You don’t have to be a career politician to become your party’s candidate for President. It’s part of the whole American Dream mentality that is sadly leaving the culture of this country. People’s votes do count. Look how far Bernie Sanders has come and how those who are voting for him have impacted Hillary Clinton’s campaign! Look at how Donald Trump’s voters have made him their party’s choice, over and above so many career politicians. Every American’s vote counts, every voice is heard. The campaigns of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump prove that. Is it possible for Donald Trump to choose Bernie Sanders as his choice for Vice President? Establishment heads would utterly explode. We would hear the wailing and gnashing of teeth of politicians in Washington from the Atlantic to the Pacific should that happen. Two outsiders, two people who the majority of the country supports and backs, working together for the good of the American people? Taking the great divide between parties and straddling that morass and bringing people together? Would that be the worst thing? To stand united? To work for the same goals? What would happen if we put aside out own personal agendas, our own penchant for getting offended about every little thing and actually worked together for the greater good?
A few days ago, I read an article from the New York Post slamming Jessica Alba and her “Honest Company” products. I will disclaim that I am a customer of the Honest Company and I’ve been more than pleasantly surprised by the quality of the products I have used. But it wasn’t so much the insult that “my” products and choices were criticized, but the tone of the entire article that was so trite and opinionated, it made my stomach churn.
The author of the article was quite insistent about the fact that Jessica Alba is a liar and her insulting lies have built her a billion dollar industry. And no one should lie like that. Her stuff has chemicals in it after all. And Jessica uses scare tactics to gain customers built on lies and other falsehoods. And dammit, no one should fall for that! No one should ever buy her products. She’s an actress and should stick to that. And she should be ashamed of herself, fleecing the American public of their hard earned dollars based on being a prevaricator. How dare she!
Doesn’t every company do that though in an effort to make a buck? Don’t ALL companies make claims that they are the best, the only, the pinnacle? I’m the most honest, so you should trust me. I am very hard to get so you should be willing to pay whatever to get me. This actress uses my products so you could be as cool as her if you use them too. I was created on family values so if you use my competitor who isn’t well, you’re not family oriented. I can cure your disease, but be prepared there might be some side-effects for SOME people.
So why was the “Honest Company” singled out in this article and not other companies who make similar claims and who lie just as hard? Maybe because there is an actress heading it, not some faceless corporation. So, it’s easier to point fingers directly at her and vilify her because she has a face you can look at and try to demean and trash. And isn’t that what America has become as of late? Staring at someone else, judging them because they don’t agree with you and vilifying them to the point of making them irrelevant and hated? I’m tired of it.
And I’m especially tired of “journalists” taking this editorial approach to spewing un-cited “facts” not with the intention of creating questions in the reader and challenging them to make a choice, but to create a devilish, lying hoesbeast out of Jessica Alba (or insert anyone with any notoriety). It’s that push to “take a side” and if it’s not my side, it’s wrong and I will sully you, slander you and bully you until you admit you’re an idiot. I am so over it.
So, pick a product that is right for you. If you like “Honest Company” products, use them. Don’t be bullied not to. Do your research, find what works for you and your family. That’s why we are blessed to have so many choices here in America. Don’t let anyone tell you that you’re a lesser person because you’ve chosen to use a product, support an idea, like a public figure, choose clothing you like, parent in the way you choose, follow a faith that you like, marry the person you choose. We are all individuals and we ARE in this country allowed to make our own choices. And we are deserving of the RESPECT for our choices and opinions even if someone else disagrees. Don’t let popular opinion tell you otherwise.
And for what it’s worth, “Honest Company” has the best stain remover ever created and their butt rash cream is better than anything else I’ve ever used (for the babies people – come on!). And that’s my opinion. Come vilify me for it, or respect me for it even if you disagree. I like that idea much, much better.
One Click And….
I’m an addict. The first part of addiction is admitting you have a problem. I’m admitting it, fully. I am addicted to on-line shopping. I’m not entirely sure I’ve set foot in a store other than Target or Walmart or the grocery store for the last five years. Why should I? I see it, I plug in the promotional code to get my on-line only discount, the computer already has my credit card saved so I don’t even have to go and find it and voila! A week later I have my goods delivered to my door and I get to open a box addressed just to me like it’s Christmas.
I can find whatever I want, when I want it or need it. I don’t have to hunt for it, I type into Google what I want and it brings me up a list of places where I can order it. My favorite stores send me emails daily with their latest promotions and sales. I can ignore their messages or shop. Most of the time that flashing “30% off with Free Shipping!” is enticing enough for me to browse and inevitably buy. I’ve had emails from companies that send me “We Miss You – Here’s 25% off your next order!” coupons when I haven’t bought anything in over two weeks.
I LOVE online shopping. I can browse whenever the hell I want; day or night, weekday or weekend, when I’m supposed to be working or not. I can, at my leisure, wait for certain deals, combine coupons, shop clearance. I can hold things in my cart for days on end while I make a final decision.
Most recently, I’ve been ordering food. Because going to the grocery store has become too troublesome. Let someone else shop it for me. Let them push the cart around the store. I will just come pick it up when I can fit it into my busy schedule, between shopping online at the Gap and Justice and Zazzle, to come and pick it up.
It sounds elitist, it really does and I know that. But in all honesty, I have SO MUCH more time to spend with my kids. I can play games with them, do projects with them, help them with homework, just sit and watch a movie with them. Because everything is done. There are no errands to do. There is just time. And I choose to spend that time with them. I love being elitist or lazy or entitled or whatever else you might want to call me, because it affords me so much valuable time to be with my kids. It’s worth every blessed moment and each click.
- When life hands you lemons, give me a quart of vodka and a few friends. We’ll have a party instead! – Unclaimed
- Holding onto anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned. – Buddha
- Always borrow money from a pessimist. He won’t expect it back. – Oscar Wilde
- Friendship is like peeing on yourself; everyone can see it, but only you get the warm feeling that it brings. – Robert Bloch
- Dogs have masters. Cats have staff. – Anonymous
- Why didn’t Noah swat those two mosquitoes? – Anonymous
On my wedding day, I was given a slurred and drunken piece of advice by my Uncle Ed: Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance. My new husband and I thought of the many ways that such profound preparedness could be pertinent to a productive marriage.
1. Procreation – I’d always heard that it was best to be married for a while before having a child. The first year is supposed to be a time for experiencing each other, learning about each other, adjusting to being married, creating a new lifestyle and saving money. Three days into our marriage we were pregnant. Clearly the performance wasn’t piss poor, but the proper planning part was phenomenally not present.
2. Precision – I was always a creature of staunch organization to the point where all of my books were alphabetized by author’s last name and canned goods were alphabetized by product. Everything had its place and was impeccably ordered. As an only child, all of my things could be as I wanted them all of the time and would remain that way until I changed it. That precision changed markedly upon marriage and the subsequent birth of our first daughter. I still twitch when I see the disorder in the family room with the mountains of toys that scatter the floor daily, that my pantry looks like the supermarket on the precipice of a snowstorm, that the laundry room smells like a barnyard with everyone’s shoes, soccer cleats, ice hockey equipment and sneakers. I don’t know if proper planning could have prepared me for this, but preparation may have.
3. Preparedness – A wife and/or parent must be prepared for absolutely every blessed thing that could possibly happen, ever. I didn’t realize that so much preparedness would be predicated on the ill-timed urgency of bodily functions. I didn’t know an infant could poo so violently in a stroller in Sears that one hit would roll up her back and out the neck of her outfit. The NECK. That required the purchase of a new outfit and stroller. I didn’t know that a 7 year-old at a company Christmas party could leave Santa’s side,come to her mother and puke on her lap (while she was wearing her favorite, brand new wool pants) enough to fill a five gallon bucket. In front of her dad’s co-workers. All of them. I didn’t know that a Dunkin’ Donuts coffee plus a McDonald’s breakfast sandwich would cause such violent stomach pains that I would need to leave my panties in the garbage pail at Walmart. But because of these experiences, I am now better prepared. So there’s that.
4.Philth – Filth, dirt, squalor… It’s around me all the time. I hate it. The square footage of my home is not all clean at the same time. Pig Pen’s #1, #2 and #3 and the felines seem to drag it through the house willy nilly, scattering it with them wherever they go. Rolled up underwear behind a dresser, muddy cleats walked through the house, torn up pieces of paper everywhere like confetti, hardened pieces of Play-Doh under the kitchen table and smashed into the carpet, a spilled juice cup in the bed. The list goes on and on and on. I keep hoping one day I can clean the house in one day and enjoy it for longer than five minutes before a cup goes in the sink, someone defiles the bathroom or leaves a chocolatey handprint on the wall. But this, one day, I will miss. Until grandchildren come along that is.
5.Persistence – I had no idea the level of persistence a toddler would or could have. I simply don’t have the strength for it. I am a weak woman, very drilled down to my exposed, bare core, fighting for what little strength and sanity I have that is remaining. So when the toddler screams and yells and bullies me for a lollipop for breakfast, some mornings, I cave. I admit it. I am a piss poor parent some days and should be whipped. Self flagellation only goes so far, though. I need to be prepared for the demands and just hide the damn lollipops.
6.Paranormal Phenomena – Our house is full of paranormal activity (or maybe we just have kids). It is so evidenced at our house that we should be considered as the next Amityville Horror House. Things happen around here with absolutely no explanation what-so-ever. An over-turned bowl of cereal that no one did, a half drunk bottle of water that belongs to no one, an un-flushed turd in the toilet that no one produced. I relish my position as detective. Really… I mean that. Kind of.
So nearly thirteen years, three children and two cats later, I still see and value the validity of how Proper Planning can and does Prevent Piss Poor Performance. Thanks Uncle Ed!
Self Awareness Is Key….
As I was listening to Alt Nation on Sirius XM (because I won’t listen to terrestrial radio anymore, ever, at all) on came “I Don’t Want To Be An Asshole Anymore” by The Menzingers. I realized self awareness is key. This guy knows he’s an asshole, he knows he sucks and dammit, he’s trying to change. I commend that.
But when you’re a self-aware asshole hell-bent on trying to change yourself, how do you measure your success? Does one less person on the highway give you the finger? Do three people at work not mutter ‘asshole’ as they walk away from you? Does your boy/girlfriend not scream at you and throw things at you as often as they used to? And I realized the measure of success is pretty much self assured. If you go through your day and one less person flips you off and you consider that success, then go for it. Or, you could take it a measure further and actually try to do something nice for someone and not expect anything in return. Perhaps this asshole will grow enough in their life so they can become an acceptable and productive member of society.
My dad (God bless his soul) had a theory that I have come to adopt in my life. Some people are A’s (pronounced Ahhh). They are assholes. If you’re an A, you can redeem yourself and become a normal person again. But once you become a TA (yep, you got it, pronounced T-Ahhh) you’re a Total Asshole. There’s no redemption from that status. You can try, but you’re such an asshole, you’re bound to slip and sink to TA status once again. It’s been scientifically proved this can happen in a matter of mere hours. I know, I’ve seen it happen.
In a world full of TA’s and A’s, it’s important to separate yourself from them and stand out on your own and be a good person. Sometimes it’s hard. Sometimes the easiest way to combat a TA or an A is to be one yourself. You must resist. It’s imperative to the continuation of the human race as a compassionate, self-reliant entity that you don’t devolve to their level. You must treat a TA and A with total kindness. It makes them crack under the pressure. They don’t fully understand it. An A might, in fact, recognize their asshole-ness and change. In that case, you’ve done your duty as a human. Good on you, mate! And on behalf of other humans, thank you.
I hope the lead singer of The Menzingers has found his success and is no longer an asshole. And if you haven’t heard the song, it’s freakin’ awesome. Do yourself and favor and give it a listen. It’s lots of fun.