Benevolent Nuns

A while ago, I posted something on facebook about benevolent nuns (is there another kind?). A childhood friend, who’s discovered, too late, that a wasted life brings regret, implied that I hadn’t experienced adversity, remorse or heartache of any description. He went on to suggest that my head was up my ass because I’m here and he’s there. My feelings were hurt. I’m disappointed still.

My friend was a favorite of Mum’s. She was loyal to his potential, regardless of the evidence that he likely ripped her off at every opportunity. She wrote to him while he was in prison. My mother was a comfort to the incarcerated. It wouldn’t have been a surprise to learn she became a master file cake baker.

So my friend, seeing only what is on the surface, and not bothering to explore what is beneath, thinks I’m an asshole who married better. No one likes him. I do; like my mother, I’ve been convinced of his unexcavated gifts.

I think of her nearly every day, usually more than once. I wish she’d lived to see what home looks like. It’s not her style at all but her influence is everywhere. She’d recognize it. I overheard her tell someone once, “Elroy knows how to present work, she has an eye for it.”

I’ve been struggling. I feel ungrateful. Tonight I looked at the walls and wondered at the accumulation. I wished she could see the work I’ve collected. She’d see the humor in it. She was familiar with benevolent nuns.

 

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Mourning Gregg

I guess I’ve become that person. I am so ANGRY that Gregg Allman is dead. I’ve been immersed in his death and funeral for over a week today. We’re old. It’s unbelievable. Yesterday, during the funeral, I went to the drugstore. I watched the procession on my iPhone while I was there. I am not that person. Gregg Allman was presented to me by one of the least sophisticated girls in my class; she remains where she was the last time I saw her, 35-40 years ago. I love his voice. He was handsome and, to some women panties falling to the floor, fuckable. I’m not that woman. I loved his voice, a jealousy inspiring voice. I wanted his vocal cords. His long hair was a problem. I’m a nerd, I can’t manage the competition of cool. He was a blues man. Allman Brothers Band music was the soundtrack for my life. I am so sad, the same kind of sad I was when my brothers died. Really, what the fuck?!

My husband and I have found ourselves in a weird realm of success. We have a little something. We’ve worked our asses off for what we have. We’re discussing how we will divest what we have, who will benefit from our hard work. As often as I plot the divorce, leaving all but  a few items behind, the man impresses me. Jesus, he is so much better than I could ever hope to be. Let’s donate here and there, let’s give this and that, let’s make it easier and less worrisome for as many people as we can.

I cried today. I apologized, I know tears cause anxiety. We work all the motherfucking time. In case you’re unaware, that stupid, greedy, pig (my apologies to the porcine) Trump has discouraged people from migrating here to work. We live in one of the states with an aging demographic, no labor pool to draw from. I’m so tired. I just want to be free. Sometimes, perhaps more often than occasionally, I imagine the way out. I think it begins and ends with heroin. I don’t even smoke cigarettes now so it should be effective. Can you imagine the research and the efficacy of a plan I might devise? I’ve covered the particulars. The hindrance is Mr. Jones; it would be so unfair to him. He wouldn’t know and it would scare him in the same way it would scare me if our positions were reversed.

I hate Donald Trump. I hate what has happened to American democracy. Jimmy Carter had this to say about Gregg Allman-
“Gregg Allman and the Allman Brothers just about put me in the White House,” Carter said. “They were the best fundraisers that we had. In those days, they would charge somebody $15 to come hear them play. And we were getting the whole $15 plus 15 more matching dollars! So we got $30 every time someone came to hear the Allman Brothers Band play. And Cher came along with Gregg … They were married for a brief time as you may remember.”

I hate Citizens United. I miss and love a world that was sincere and generous. My heart is broken.

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Catching Up

From The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/apr/15/neoliberalism-ideology-problem-george-monbiot

As I’m sure you know, the Trump Situation depresses me.

“They were the government—a gang of rich, mean-spirited old fucks who made democracy work by beating us all stupid with a series of billion-dollar hypes they called Defense Contracts, Special Subsidies, and “emergency tax breaks” for anybody with the grease to hire a Congressman.” —Hunter S. Thompson

My husband continues to be the object of my affections when I’m not conspiring against him.

The kids are procreating like it’s a profession!

We have new living room rugs, braided and old fashioned but comforting.

Gawd help me, I’m going ice fishing in a couple of weeks. How did an old girl like me end up in a place like this?!

Miss you all.

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Bedtime for Donald — Wretched Richard’s Almanac

They’re saying women aren’t going to vote for me. Boy are they in for a surprise on election day. I’m going to win, win big, and women will be voting for me, because they secretly love me. And I love them, at least the good looking ones. They love me because I’m big, a big […]

via Bedtime for Donald — Wretched Richard’s Almanac

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Bedtime for Donald

Clever, funny, and sad but true all at once.

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Defining Offensive

I’ve been all work and no play for quite a while. I spend most of my waking hours alone, working. Someone, who shall remain nameless, but if you know me at all you’ll know who I mean, thought it would be a fabulous idea for me to take on the added responsibility of Laila the Boxer. Laila has a lower lip and an underbite. She comes to work Monday through Friday, sometimes she has a weekend sleepover.  Every single morning she looks for me and when she finds me she puts her paws on my shoulders and licks my whole face. She says, “Thank Gawd you’re still here! I knew you wouldn’t abandon me to fend for myself in this unsupervised chaos.” We understand one another. We have a comfortable routine that consists of work interspersed with Laila breaks. Laila has taught me to bark. We do not like the school bus, the Fairpoint bucket truck, or the UPS truck. We hate the fluffy orange cat who wanders wherever she wants just to taunt us. We do not rip the fur off her skanky old ass because we’re pacifists.

Recently I read this joke-
How I Learned to Mind My Own Business
I was walking past the mental hospital the other day.
All the patients were shouting,
13…13…13!

The fence was too high for me to see over
but I saw a little gap in the planks
so I looked through
to see what was going on.

Some idiot poked me in the eye
with a stick.
Then they all started shouting,
14…14…14!

I love this joke, it makes me laugh every single time I write or tell it. It’s funny because I can identify with both the protagonist and with the mental patients, who represent the desire of the collective unconscious to see the underdog emerge victorious.

I remember a time when we told jokes and laughed often. The jokes we told were not at the expense of others, they were poking fun at ourselves and our humanity, collectively and individually. My friend, the Bob Dylan Republican, used to tell a joke that described a brother’s desire to see his sibling cured of an affliction. It began, “My brother Bill, he’s a cripple you know” and went on to describe the trip they made to see the Pope at the Vatican with Bill flinging his crutches one after the other. As the BDR told the joke his audience was ever hopeful that Bill would be cured, which of course he wasn’t. “Hell no, he fell flat on his ass because my bother Bill, he’s a cripple you know.” That joke poked fun at all of us for being hopeful against reason. My brother Brian, who had arthrogyposis and never walked unassisted, loved that joke. Everyone in my family loved that joke, no one was offended. We used to admire irony and clever word play.

How is it that jokes offend us but Donald Trump fails to offend his base?

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Bedtime for Donald

I ran the Miss Universe contest. Talk about experience in world affairs. Herding bimbos is a lot harder than dealing with attachés and ambassadors. That’s work for someone like a Secretary of…

Source: Bedtime for Donald

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Freedom to Ejaculate

ipledgeafallegiance

Donald Trump’s presidential running mate, Governor Mike Pence of Indiana recently signed an anti abortion bill passed by the Indiana legislature. Mr Pence opposes all forms of abortion no matter the reason nor complication. He also hopes to help the Republican party De-fund Planned Parenthood if he and Donald trump are elected. I can only assume because all lives matter.

But have you ever noticed how men are never mentioned during the debate over abortion. A debate that continues even though the Supreme Court of the United States decided long ago that a living woman has more right to her body than an unborn fetus in the first trimester of pregnancy. And have you noticed  how in fact men are hardly ever in the conversation when it comes to the discussion of pregnancy and abortion rights in America… not even as a responsible party in the equation of life?

So…

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Open Conversation

In the previous post, I described conflicted feelings in my obligation toward my siblings. In response, my friend and reader posed the following questions of me and of you
“I have wondered for many years what characterizes the familial relationship. Does a blood relationship require love and connection? Are you required to love your siblings simply because of the blood relationship?”

I don’t believe DNA is the defining characteristic of family. There are people, I have no genetic ties to, whom I love more than my family. For me, GUILT is the primary characteristic of the familial relationship. I feel guilty that I don’t love all of the people I’m related to. I feel guilty that the people I’m related to and whom I love drive me crazy. I feel guilty that there isn’t enough time in the day for me to meet their needs and guilty when I’m resentful of their demands on my time. I feel guilty when I do not want to answer the phone to listen to a long, needy, monologue, “Hi it’s me, let me tell you all about me. Hear me, affirm my actions and confirm my existence.” Jesus! Me, me, me; it’s tiring. If I were a better person I would want to listen to that. Guilt, guilt, guilt.

A blood relationship does not require love and connection. We’re not the same, we are not required to love and connect. We are required to be decent human beings. We are required to refuse to be the familial doormat.

I do not love all of my siblings. It isn’t necessary for me to tell them that. Cruelty is unnecessary. It doesn’t feel good to be soundly rejected. When I don’t answer the phone it allows the caller to rationalize that behavior, “That’s just the way she is.” To a certain extent that’s true, I am that way.

Hanslr and I are very interested in reading your thoughts on the subject. Don’t be shy, tell it like is!

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Just Can’t

30 June 2013
There are, were, six siblings  in my family; three boys and three girls. I am the eldest. In childhood, it was my responsibility to care for my younger sisters and brothers, often to distract our lunatic father and protect the younger kids. After we moved away from my father and my parents divorced, it was my job to interpret events for the younger kids and to help my mother raise them.

It was a shared burden, each child who was older than the others had a responsibility for the younger ones in succession. I guess that’s where the failure occurred with Brian and Joe. Brian was born with arthrogryposis. He spent the fist two years of his life in the hospital, where he was adored by the staff because he was cute and smart. It must have been awful for him to come home to be just another one of many. Joe was the baby. He was spoiled, by all of us, as the youngest so often are. Neither of them had to be responsible for anyone else.

At 15, I rebelled in earnest. My siblings were not my children or my responsibility.  At 18, I moved out. At 19, I moved far away. I lived a new life and reveled in autonomy. Coincidentally, Brian relished his autonomy as well. A social worker once told my mother, after he was diagnosed with HIV but before he had full blown AIDS, that she didn’t know he had any siblings other than Joe. Brian loved to be free and I did too, free of the burden and disappointments inherent in sibling rivalry, free of the chaos in our family, free to live lives we hoped would be better than the ones we’d left. Free to be just us, independent of the family connection, roaming anonymously. If he had a headstone it would declare, “Not all who wander are lost.”

The kids who had responsibility for younger siblings became more traditionally independent. A couple of them have advanced degrees and enjoy professional success. They were not dependent on my mother. Brian wasn’t dependent on Mum either. Even Joe, whom Mum bankrolled until the day she died, held several state regulated licenses to practice a trade. We were raised with a certain expectation of achievement. We have helped each other in attaining goals.

I have never completely abandoned my sisters and brothers. It is unlikely that I will. I’ll be available for legitimate emergencies and tragedies. I’ll send cards and gifts for milestone occasions. I won’t be calling any time soon. Conversation is more than I can bear. Talking and listening is too much. I just can’t.

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