Out From Under the Umbrella

playing in the rain


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Rotten Apples

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Good girls don’t fall.

If you fall you’re rotten. You’re damaged goods. Temporary. And no one will really want you.

And please do not forget, your value is wrapped up in whether or not a boy wants you.

Don’t give up your chastity. One day one of those boys who has been partaking of the damaged goods will tire of that and suddenly desire your virtue.

He’s not damaged goods. You will be happy to have him. He is a gift.


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Analogous…In Which the 99% can Relate and Understand

The other day, maybe a month or so ago, Donald Trump called in and spoke to Chris Cuomo, one of the hosts of New Day on CNN.  He does that a lot and gets buttloads of free publicity.

*During his conversation with Cuomo The Donald talked about how he understands the working class and how he, himself, had received a small loan from his father when he started out in the real estate business. When pressed about the amount of the loan Trump said it was a million dollars*.

 

Scratch…………..wut?!?

He later explained that the size of the loan was relative meaning that in his world a million dollars is small.

 

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Now, pardon me for saying so but Trump was born with a silver spoon in his mouth.  He’s likely never rolled pennies to buy a gallon of milk.  I’m quite certain he’s never, not ever, wondered where his next meal was going to come from and I highly doubt that he has ever a day in his life worried that if he didn’t receive his next check his lights would be cut off.

Donald Trump is the one percent.

So when he starts talking to the working-class, also known as the working poor, my eyes glaze over.  No matter how much he shouts from the rooftops that he’s on my side and he can make it better and that, believe him, I have no greater ally than him when it comes to getting ahead my eyes glaze over.  When he says things like, I got a “small loan” from my father of a million freaking dollars, I roll my eyes so hard it’s a wonder they don’t fall out of my head.

When he tries to tell the American public that he understands their plight and that, believe him, he’s got problems, too, it really is laughable.  He lambastes anyone who dares criticize him in any way whatsoever.  But truly, he’s got my best interest at heart.

He’s boycotted networks because they weren’t “fair” to him.  Fair? I suppose that’s relative, too.

The difference here is I don’t begrudge him his wealth.  He was born into it.  He didn’t ask to be born to those parents, though I dare say he wouldn’t wish to born to a poor family.  I don’t wish he were poor.

I’d like to share in the wealth. I’d like to think that the system that keeps the one percent rich as hell isn’t also the same system that keeps me living paycheck to paycheck without a hell of a lot of luck.  If only I could wish it weren’t so.

So it isn’t Donald Trump, personally, that I have a beef with.  And he might be an ally to the working class.  But what isn’t helpful is for him to try to tell me that he’s got problems, or that something isn’t fair to him or that, or that me pointing out the disparity between our situations is somehow classist.   Or when the working class tells him that they need help and that the wealth should be a little more evenly divided that his answer wasn’t, “Believe me, I’m going to make America great again.  But you’re not getting any of my wealth. That’s socialism.”

What would be helpful is if he sat down with a group of the working class and asked them how he might help make it better.  If he asked what it’s like to be poor or working-class, listened to the answer, and then acted upon that to the best of his ability that would be helpful.

When Trump makes the working-class’ problems all about how it affects him it tells me he might be listening to the working class but he surely doesn’t hear them.

Now, apply that same logic, that same disgust, that most of us feel when Trump speaks to the middle and low income class of people to every other class imbalance.

We don’t want to hear about Trump’s problems.  We don’t want to hear how life has been unfair to him.  Because it pales in comparison to the problems and unfairness that the rest of us experience on a regular basis. It seems kind of pointless and idiotic for him to compare himself on any level with us commoners.  Sure, he puts his pants on one leg at a time just like us, but he puts his leg into an Armani suit, not a cheap polyester one.

Stay with me here.  That’s the way women feel when men talk about how feminism bugs them.  That’s the way women feel when men talk over them and past them.  I’d venture to guess that’s how black people or people of any minority feel when the classes  above them in the echelon try to tell them how hard life is for them.

It isn’t an attempt to make men or white people feel worthless or meaningless.  It is an attempt to make ourselves worthy and meaningful.  No, we don’t want to silence you.  We want to be heard – not just listened to.  Is that so much to ask?

*Edited because somehow in publishing WordPress ate a whole paragraph.


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British Family Vacation

Back during the summer I went on a rant about how I was having one problem after another and had a moment of…less than Ruth-likeness. I was burned out.

I took a much needed break. While TheBrit’s family was here I didn’t think about work, I didn’t think about bills, and I didn’t think about home and equipment repairs. In fact, the push mower and the power washer are still sitting in the shed – unrepaired(is that a word?).  They aren’t going anywhere and it’s turned fallwinter…ish here.

Not a one of them even noticed the window with the peeling paint.  Or if they did, they didn’t mention it.

Nope.

We just had a fabulous time.  TheBrit and I were both concerned about having that many people in our house for that amount of time.  We worried for nothing.

The pool wasn’t quite ready when they got here.  They found something else to entertain themselves for a few days.  When it was ready it was lovely and our niece wore us all out swimming.

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I think they had a really nice time.  Casa de Ruth e Brit was a huge success.  It got rave reviews from his sister:

Best family holiday EVER!!

 

When we first suggested that TheBrit’s family come here we thought it would only be his mother, his sister, and his niece. His step-dad(who he really looks at as his dad) and his brother-in-law were going to stay behind. Originally it was thought that TopBrit’s health would prevent him from taking such a long journey and B-I-L-Brit has an aversion to flying.

Just before we booked the flights(months in advance), however, TopBrit and B-I-L-Brit  decided they would make the trip as well.  TopBrit worked really hard on getting his diabetic legs in tip-top shape and B-I-L-Brit bit the bullet, so to speak, and faced his fear.

Truly it seemed foolish for them not to as this was supposed to be the trip of a lifetime.  They didn’t think they’d ever make the trip again.  They’ve decided otherwise now.  BritSis’ bunch is planning another trip in 2017.

Before they left his step-dad said that he’d had the time of his life.  He’d always dreamed of visiting the U.S. but didn’t, at his age and health, think it possible.

He’s not a terribly emotional man.  He doesn’t do mush.  But when we left them at the airport he had tears rolling down his cheeks.  I was fine until I saw that.  Then I teared up and had a little cry, myself.  It was hard to let them go.

I am so very glad that his health allowed him to make the trip and that he had such a lovely time.  Shortly after they arrived home TheBrit’s mum and TopBrit told us they were planning to come again next summer(2015).

Unfortunately TopBrit won’t be making that trip.  On Christmas Eve he had a massive heart attack and passed away.  His wry smile and his quick whit will be missed.

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Rest in peace, TopBrit.  Rest in peace.

*This has been sitting in my draft folder for several months.  This seemed like a good time to finish it. TheBrit and I will be travelling to England within the next few weeks.


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Impalers and Savages

The lot of them, says these two former facecrook friends.  My “friends” are decreasing by the day.

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It isn’t even that I want an echo chamber.  I can handle opposing views. This kind of xenophobic nonsense I have no patience nor tolerance for and there is no point in even engaging.  It would accomplish nothing.

Goodbye former classmates.


56 Comments

For the Love of Guns

It is true.  I’m an avid supporter of the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.  I have never understood the Second Amendment to mean that anyone who lives in America can or should have any gun they want for any purpose they want.

I come from a fairly rural area with a long hunting tradition.  I know that some don’t agree with hunting full stop, but it’s the tradition I’ve grown up around even though my father wasn’t a hunter.  And around here we do have a significant deer population which is what most people hunt for.  That and wild boar.   Both are overpopulated.

We have laws in our state which govern what can an cannot be hunted.  For example, it’s against the law here to kill a snake.  Any snake.  It’s also against the law to kill alligators.  If either of these become a nuisance Animal Control is to be called and they are to remove and relocate said snake or alligator.

This time of year I can hear gunfire going off around most any time of the day.  Not typically at night as that is against the law. No night hunting.  No shining.

I, myself, have a handgun.  I like to fire it at the range.  At targets.  Not people.

When I was a little girl my dad had a pistol.  He taught my mom how to fire it because he was gone.  A lot. She hated it.  She still slept with it under her pillow.

My older sister and I knew the gun was there.  It never crossed our minds to play with it.  It wasn’t a toy.  I don’t remember ever being told it wasn’t a toy.  I also don’t remember growing up playing games like, Grand Theft Auto, Call of Duty – Black Ops, Manhunt, or Mortal Combat. Those seem to make a fun game out of killing as many “people” as possible.

We played Cops and Robbers, Cowboys and Indians, and War.  We used mud pies as bombs and mostly our fingers for guns. We used make-believe bows and arrows.  We got in trouble if we pointed our cap-guns at anyone. Ever. While those guns were toys they weren’t those kinds of toys.  They still had moving parts and could still hurt someone and we learned that.

I’m not blaming mass shootings video games, mind you.  But I do think it desensitizes humans who play them to a certain extent.  So if someone already has a bent toward the uncaring that might just help them see other people as game pieces instead of real and breathing.

It’s just that when I was a kid I learned about real guns before I had a toy one.  I heard the near-deafening boom as the bullet left the chamber.  I saw the damage it inflicted and/or could inflict on a living thing.

As I previously mentioned I grew up in rural South Georgia where rabid animals roam.  My first memory of a gun being used was when I was probably four years old.

My parents had bought this little country store and we were living in a room in the back of it.  Two double beds, one on each side of the rear exit.  That’s what we seemed to have.  Two double beds and a hot plate.

One morning we were awakened by the sounds of growling and barking at that rear exit.  My dad, wearing only a pair of blue and white striped boxers, opened the door a crack to see what was going on.  The growling and barking lunged at the door and my dad slammed it shut.

He reached under the pillow and grabbed the pistol.  He carefully cracked the door a smidge again.  The growling and barking lunged again.  He tried throwing a few things at the growling and barking but it was undeterred.  Finally he opened the door once more, just a crack, and when the growling and barking lunged he shot it.  With a yelp it went down.

My dad’s philosophy about guns was that they were a tool.  He didn’t hunt for sport.  He only used it when he felt it was necessary.  He used it another time, that I can recall, to put down our ailing Irish Setter.  With tears in his eyes.

My point is that anyone that can shoot people without batting an eye has something wrong with them.  How can the life of another mean so little?  How can the pain inflicted not at least make one pause?  Is there some empathy chip missing?

So maybe the gun lobby has a point – to a point.  Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.  And maybe if they couldn’t get their hands on a gun they’d concoct homemade bombs and improvised explosive devices.  Or use machetes or swords.

Why is the gun lobby in this country against more intensive background checks?  Or even making it impossible for someone on the no-fly list to buy a gun?  Why are our lawmakers more afraid of the NRA than they are the people who are able to obtain guns?

Is there any way to rid the world of senseless violence when there are apparently those walking among us who would just as soon snap our necks without a second thought?  Why are there so many people who haven’t any conscience or empathy?  What can we do about it?

To be continued…

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