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Archive for October 2011

That’s apparently how many stay at home moms do so “primarily to care for children.”. Um, what the hell else would you be doing if you are staying home? Lunching with your lady friends while your kids watch One Life To Live? Shtupping the tennis instructor? Following the nanny around saying how busy you are? If you are not raising your kids then who is? And why are you staying at home?

Do not misunderstand me. I’m not trying to engage in Mommy Wars on the side of SAHMs. I would go back to work tomorrow if it were at all possible for me to earn enough money to cover the cost of child care for two children. Actually, I can do that now. The key is finding a salary with which I’d do more than break even on child care. The BBDD and I did the math. If we spend my entire paycheck on child care, why bother with either the check or the child care? Unfortunately for some of our friends, the minor amount they do net after child care is money without which they cannot survive. WHICH IS WHY WE SHOULD OCCUPY WALL STREET!!!

I’m kidding. Although I do support the effort in theory, to a point. Here’s my take: this is America, and if you can get rich without hurting other people or harming our society, then you ought to go ahead and do it. Make as much money as you can, baby, with nothing but encouragement from me. But if you are getting rich by fucking people over, by engaging in shady (even if not outright illegal) tactics, and by all but driving the world economy to the brink of collapse, then you are a parasite, a cancer on all the people who do an honest day’s work and whose livelihoods, 401ks, investments can be destroyed by your actions. I laughed when I saw the pic of a Wall Street guy with a “we are the 1%” sign, because I’m pretty sure I went to school with some of these supposed “job creators,” and it reminded me of Barry Switzer’s crack about some folks being born on third base going through life thinking they hit a triple.

I am all for folks getting rich. I’m not all for folks being assholes, even if it’s legal and beyond the jurisdiction of the SEC. I’m not for people pretending they are Just Folks securing the American Dream when they are purely acting in self-interest to deny that dream to others. I’m not for people equating wealth with hard work. My father worked 3 and sometimes 4 jobs and somehow we never got rich…but we got by and got educated. I fucking dare you to spend one week in his worn-out shoes, banking executive. Then tell me what hard work looks like. I’m not for people pretending that the top 1% are all bootstrappers. One study showed that 69% of people on the Forbes 400 list had INHERITED their fortunes. Again, mazel tov on your riches, but don’t act like I’m leftie hippie scum because I’m not so impressed by you that I think your tax rate should be 0%.

Which brings me to leftie hippie scum. The Occupy Wall Street movement is marred by the same elements that mar every progressive event: the weirdo, niche-issue circle-jerkers. Yeah, I said it. When I was in college, back in my days of being a “womyn,” I would routinely work with local and regional groups to organize or participate in pro-choice marches, vigils, sit-ins, etc. We would work so hard to craft the right message with the aim of ideally changing people’s minds or simply halting harassment of women at clinics, etc. And then THEY would show up. The circle jerkers. The people so into their issue that they had lost sight of the whole “persuasion” side of things. They were there just to hear themselves talk and to preach to their own choir. Hence the lamentable “pussy power” signage, et. al., delivering a PR win for the other side, since we were all clearly potty mouthed sex freaks trying to rend the fabric of this quiet community with our liberal godless pussy-loving ways. It happened all the time and it always, always pissed me off.

Fast forward to Earth Day 2005. We were having a lovely time, celebrating God’s Green Earth…and THEY show up: the Free Mumia people. I challenge you to organize any liberal/progressive event and NOT have the Mumia people show up and co-opt it. Can’t be done, folks. They are the “Birthers” of the Left. They will have their cop-killer’s day in court (again) and they will use your mics to do it. My brother is a cop, so you know we bailed fast. I was having no part of that totally non-related issue hijacking the real cause. And not to worry. Should the Mumia people not ruin your event, the anti-Semites will. Apparently I am part of a group that controls all banking, media and entertainment in the world. In addition, between fasting and praying and eating matzo and yelling “Good Yuntiff!” across temple parking lots, we are reportedly also meeting secretly to plan all of the world’s conflicts. I know it’s true because a smelly dude with a human microphone said so. Now, maybe it’s because I’m part of the 88% who, being moms, are as busy as a one-legged guy in a butt-kicking contest, but the Secret Memo To All Jews, RE: world domination through conflagration and commoditization did not arrive at my home.

Damn… If only we controlled the postal system too.

It’s National Coming Out Day. That means if you are gay and in the closet, you need to bring your sweet self outta there and feel the love of those who don’t give a rat’s ass either way. That’s right, darling. We’re waiting for you. Bet you ten bucks 80% of your family and friends already knows and is waiting for you to say it so we can all breathe a sigh of relief that we don’t have to go on living this lie anymore. Because when you are in the closet, honey, we are all in there with you. I bet you a million dollars (unless you are in high school in Tuscaloosa, Alabama for example) that your life will suddenly open up to you in positive ways you never imagined possible.

I know the conservative right wing would like me to say that I want you to learn to be gay from terrible examples set by others, and that I think you should push your evil Gay Agenda in the schools to young, impressionable children who can be convinced to become gay. But all human brains beyond the level of half-wit know that is bull cookies, in the most dangerous and damaging way. I know this for a fact because I can’t actually recall the moment I CHOSE to like boys. Can’t put my finger on the day when I convinced myself to find boy naughty bits exciting. Can’t transport myself back to the time when I first kissed a boy and thought, “I wish he was a girl, but I’ll just press on regardless in the name of Jesus.”

Reasonable people understand that being gay is but one part of who a person is. They also understand that it’s an important part. I had never thought much about gay people until college student advisor training, when the director of student life asked us to imagine being shipwrecked on an island where homosexuality was the norm, and to get by, to get a job, to make friends, I would have to find a woman, date her, marry her and have children, all the while pretending that it was exactly what I wanted. Any deviation from that norm would mean social shunning, bullying and disgrace. The instant I considered my heterosexuality in that way, I realized that I’d probably open a vein if such a pretense were in my future.
Which means that we have work to do, America.

Why the f*(k do you care if two guys love each other? Why are you threatened by two women dating? What precisely is your problem with the status of other people’s relationships? How does the marriage of two men or two women AT ALL impact YOUR marriage? It doesn’t. When you really peel away all of your fears, insecurities, prejudices, you truly come to grips with the fact that nobody’s marriage or relationship has anything to do with yours. When someone in your family comes out and you really peel away all of your fears, insecurities and prejudices, you truly come to grips with the fact that you can either stop loving someone–or you can very simply change your mind.

Parents, when your kids (like my eldest) talk about marrying another girl (she’s 7; indicative of nothing at this point), you don’t freak out and “correct” them. You support it. You normalize it. When your kid hits high school, you absolutely refuse to countenance any smack talk about what is “gay” and who is gay. You kick the shit out of your kid for meanness to ANYONE. I remember The Obviously Gay Kid in my high school. His life sucked. I knew it, but didn’t actually do anything to help him, goody two-shoes that I was. I saw it as not my problem, and besides, I was really busy trying to get my hair as big as possible by clearing the Osco Drug shelves of Aqua Net. “Homos” were not on my radar. I pray to God that I am raising my kids to simultaneously notice and support gay classmates while not giving a shit about the gayness.

Bambina’s godparents/uncles are married. Her male cousin is married to the best (male) non-Jewish brisket maker in history. Her babysitters are usually lesbian, by some fluke. She is 7 and she gets that it’s irrelevant. Why can’t we?

Curses!

Posted on: October 5, 2011

So I taught Bambina the word, “ass” yesterday. Not because I wanted to, but because in the name of good parenting, I had to. She and I often spend the hour before bedtime snuggling in her bed making up ridiculous songs that entertain only ourselves. I confess that more than one has found a means of rhyming something with fart or poop, but the stink eye I get from the BabyDaddy is my punishment for that, and so I continue undaunted. Last night she randomly hit on a nonsense word that started with “ass” but I let it go. Until she decided she loved the sound and started pairing it up with every word she could think of, finally landing upon “ass-tastic!” At that point I knew she was so proud of herself that she would absolutely be unveiling her new song at school–and that she was going to find herself in the Principal’s office before 9am, completely bewildered and confused as to why. And so I took it upon myself as her mature and reverent elder to explain why she was unfortunately not going to be able to begin any series of words with the “ass” sound, however mellifluous it may be. I explained that it is a swear word for one’s bum. “what’s a swear word?!”. I’m sorry, are you my child?! Okay…basics. Swear words are words that are worse than potty talk words. They are words that make people upset. They are what Scottish Grandma used to tell me are “for people with limited vocabularies.” They are not words we use when we are being polite. “Okay, so no ass. Can I say acid?”. Yes you can, dear. Just don’t drop any.