Tag Archives: politicians

Sweetness And Light

6 Mar

A few days ago I told my nephew I was going to change it up a bit with the blog. I decided to write about something I loved rather than document rampant asshattery. BUT THAT SAME DAY, as if The Universe was in a particularly jokey mood, Ben Carson informed me that prison turns people gay. So. He’s pulling back a bit now because hopefully someone he loves smacked him upside the head, BUT he’s not going to address “gay issues” anymore. This presidential candidate. In 2015. Won’t be talking LGBT rights. 

Yeah.

But whatever. I don’t have time for him because I’m still busy castigating my husband because he thought that dress was white. And there’s four inches of ice and snow in my yard and we’re still in danger of waking up speaking Russian and ISIS is destroying an entire culture and someone knifed our ambassador to South Korea and some moron thought a water taxi from Mud Island to Bass Pro Pyramid was a good idea and…

There’s this polar bear.

Memphis Zoo has a daddy polar bear named Payton. He’s from the Chicago area originally and, you know, a polar bear, so he’s not so much born for Memphis weather. The zoo was closed yesterday, but posted a video of Payton hanging out in the snow. LIKE A BOSS.

Payton is named for Walter Payton, also a Chicago Bear. Much like watching his namesake on the field back in the day, Payton will give you joy. That video? Fifty-two seconds of unadulterated bliss. My goal in life is to be as content as that bear. My parents were here for a couple of days and we’ve all watched that video a million times. It’s bookmarked so when we have a crappy day, we can go straight to Payton. If reincarnation is for real, I want to come back as that polar bear at that moment. Either that or one of Martha Stewart’s chow chows. Those dogs have it made.

I’ve just been getting zen with Sweetness for a few minutes because I looked in the mirror. It was either Payton The Polar Bear or Jim Beam The Bourbon. Sweet Gussie, I’m getting old. Natural light is not my friend. Not. My. Friend. Because I don’t get out much, I have, um…I’m not…I don’t dress…I look like hammered snot all the time. Okay, are you happy? I said it. My name is Susan and I haven’t worn pants with a zipper since mid-2013. Bra? Yeah, I used to sell them. I have drawers full of them. They are full because they are not on my body. Makeup? Used to sell that too. I just threw out some Chanel eyeshadow that I know had to be at least 11 years old. It hurt my soul to do it, but one should not keep makeup as one keeps wine.

I decided a few weeks ago, as I’m looking to join the ranks of the employed before I’m legally able to draw Social Security, that I need to start getting dressed, putting on some makeup, not terrifying my husband when he comes home because I look like that girl from The Ring had a baby with Jonathan Winters. I need to start training, as it were. Now, here’s the thing. My friend Brandee used to make fun of me at lunch because after eating, I would line my lips, fill in with my base lipstick, then finish with a gloss or glaze. The process took a minute or two. Now? Dr. Pepper Lip Smackers are about the extent of my makeup wardrobe. Except for concealer. And you can pry my concealer from my cold, dead under-eye circles. I decided to do the makeup thing right and get what I wanted rather than what would make do. The foundation I got is a new formula from an old brand. I’d read good things about it and have always had luck with this particular line. So I ordered it in the color I wore the last time I bought that brand.

foundation

 As I said, I don’t get out much. But I soldiered on. I can make it work. It’s just too much drama to return it. So I did. I made it work. And I got this eyeliner that I’ve always loved. Some new mascara, because nothing breeds bacteria like old cheese and mascara. A lipstick or two. I put on my face Wednesday. And The Chuck came home and kept looking at me all

Not used to seeing me with makeup, he says. If you have known me for more than a few years, you know this is about the second to last thing anyone would ever say to me. Second to, “I think your exercise regime is too strenuous,” which is tied with, “You need to add more cheese to your diet.” I didn’t overdo the makeup, but I felt conspicuous. I felt I looked like this

sparkle

The truth was I really looked like this

realActually, now that I see the picture, I look a little washed out. But the point is, I do not look like a Vegas drag queen stripper after a bender.

And you know what? I don’t care that all anyone talked about this week was llamas and dresses and thank God Carson got off his duff and asked Mrs. Hughes The Question. You know why? I’ll tell you. We have a potential presidential candidate who believes you can convert to Gayism like you can convert a .doc to a .pdf and Alabama wants it to be okay for a Baptist not to perform a wedding ceremony for a Hindu couple. So, yes, while you read this 792 people died of toenail fungus, 201 sloths were forcibly declawed, 903,820 adult humans were denied the right to protest gravity in court, and my neighbor didn’t take his poop bag when he walked his dog.

We need a break, is what I’m saying.

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Why I Stand Up But Stay Quiet

17 Sep

I don’t say The Pledge of Allegiance. I don’t sing the National Anthem. I’m telling you this for a reason, which I’ll get to, but let me tell you why I’m even talking about this. It has to do with my husband.

My husband thinks more than any person I’ve ever met. His brain is always going. ALWAYS. He’s one of the most curious people I know. These are two of the things I love most about him. I like talking to him. He looks at things differently (and generally less hostilely) than I do. We don’t have that much time alone. You know how it goes. We sit down with a beer and go through our days with each other and eat dinner and holy crap! How did it get to be ten at night? We don’t have much time for the kind of philosophical discussions we used to have. Like how it bugs the snot out of me that Superman is considered a super hero–*coughaliencough*–and why Steve Winwood is neither Robert Plant nor Roger Daltrey (A good thing, in my book). Oh, sure. There’s the occasional discussion about determinism and free will since, you know, quantum mechanics, but generally we talk about whether or not Raylan Givens could still be Raylan Givens if he didn’t wear that hat. We are, it may come as no surprise to know, concerned about brain atrophy.

This is why I’ve started keeping a running list of questions we have, and I take a few minutes a day (okay, it generally turns into a couple of hours) to research them. We then pick a topic for discussion. I know it sounds like I’m micromanaging. That’s because I am. If we don’t schedule these kind of things we end up talking about pocket knives. I like a good pocket knife as much as the next girl, don’t get me wrong. I just cannot discuss it with the kind of gusto exhibited by my beloved. We’ve recently discussed the Korean War, unions, the modern state of Israel, and how many people would choose to get out of a speeding ticket if it meant passing it on to the person who was traveling behind you.

It occurred to me over the weekend that I had no clue what the history of The Pledge was. So, hey, did you know The Pledge was written by a socialist? In 1891, Francis Bellamy was hired by a magazine to work in its premium department. Youth’s Companion started selling flags to schools to try to bulk up subscriptions. The company wanted a flag above every school in the nation, from sea to shining sea. A salute to the flag was written as part of the celebration of the 400th anniversary of Columbus reaching America. The Pledge, in October, 1892 read as:

I pledge allegiance to my flag and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

There was also a salute, the Bellamy salute. If I were to show it to you now, this Bellamy salute, you’d recognize it. It looks a lot like the Nazi salute. Bellamy was a Christian Socialist. He was removed from his Baptist minister’s job because he believed the teachings of Jesus to be, well, socialist. Bellamy believed in the power of the worker and the equal distribution of wealth. His generous views of economic distribution did not extend to immigrants and the right to vote. He wrote, “A democracy like ours cannot afford to throw itself open to the world where every man is a lawmaker, every dull-witted or fanatical immigrant admitted to our citizenship is a bane to the commonwealth; where all classes of society merge insensibly into one another.” Alrighty then.

The salute was changed during World War II for reasons I don’t believe I need to explain. The “under God” part didn’t get added until 1954 when Eisenhower asked Congress to add it in response to the threat of the Godless Communists.

None of the above has anything to do with why I don’t say The Pledge. I stand for it, as I do the anthem. Both of these things are important to people I care about, and there’s no point in being a jackass about it. It doesn’t bother me to stand, so I do. Just as I would if I were in Toronto when “Oh, Canada” was played. I simply find The Pledge to be creepy. I don’t pledge allegiance to a flag. I have no allegiance to inanimate objects.

There has been a lot of talk the past few weeks, deep into the presidential campaign, about The Pledge. If you don’t say it, you’re not a Real American. If you want to take “under God” out of it, you’re not a Real American. If you use it to shape the course of your campaign, you’re either a Real American or politicizing words some people believe to be sacred. Words written to sell flags. Words written by a man with an Orwellian view of the future of America. Benjamin Franklin never stood up to pledge the flag. Thomas Jefferson didn’t either. It wasn’t officially recognized by Congress until 1942–a time of war.

Here’s my point. I don’t want to say The Pledge. So I don’t. It doesn’t make me any less American than anyone else. A discussion about The Pledge made me go research its origins. Now I know more about it than I did. And what I learned made me feel better about my position. But maybe that wouldn’t have happened. Maybe I’d have learned something that made me say, “By jeepers, I’m going to start every morning saying The Pledge!” I’m just some woman in West Tennessee. I’m not running for president. I’m not asking for your money to put me in Congress. I’m NOT politicizing The Pledge. The Pledge has evolved just like my views on it have evolved. I wonder if our presidential candidates know the history of The Pledge. I wonder if they would ever be inclined to spend a few minutes doing a little research on a topic about which they know very little–this one or any other. Or would they just pick a side and use the person’s research that backs up their views. How does the leader, or future leader, of this capitalist republic make a few words written to sell flags the cornerstone of a campaign? That might be my next bit of research.