Just so we’re clear: If you’re replying to a post, your reply can’t be responded to and turn into an actual discussion, so you’re kind of arguing to yourself into the ether.
Yah, I did address that in my essay, near the end, but only briefly because that wasn’t the focus of my piece. I didn’t say that the controversy is that they shouldn’t exist, but that they should be forced to allowed gays/lesbians/atheists to be a part of, or even leaders in, their organization. My piece focuses on the fact that I don’t think they should be forced to do that anymore than the United Negro College Fund should be forced to offer scholarships to whites. They are both “discriminatory” in that regard, but both also private orgs and are allowed their discrimination - for good or for bad.
See, I am a staunch gay rights supporter. Marriage, parenting, work-place, you name it, I see absolutely no reason that homosexuals should be treated as different from heterosexuals anywhere about anything. None. They will uphold and destroy marriage just as well and as badly as we have (See: Kim Kardashian, Britney Spears, America’s 52% divorce rate). They will raise children just as wonderfully and as poorly as we do (See: teen parents, generations of dads who have molested their own daughters or beaten their own sons). They love/hate their jobs, defend their country and drive their cars just like we do.
Is the flamboyantly gay man wearing a leather thong and a whole lot of make-up on the street corner a little off-putting? Yes. But equally off-putting is any weirdo in any facet of society (See: People of Walmart, Westborough Baptist Church, the KKK, that chick that dresses up like Princess Leia and goes to Comi-con). Some are horrible, some are just bizarre, but they are all allowed the right to love whom they wish, marry them, and have a family with them - for good or for bad. I don’t believe in all of their ideologies but I believe that they’re allowed - barring harm to any other - to have and express them and I love that I live in a country where they can have them. I believe that the WBC and the KKK are ugly organizations and their beliefs are ugly, while I believe the homosexual “agenda” is one of love, acceptance and one with the intent of creating happy, healthy families. But I also accept that some people believe the opposite of all of those beliefs. My beliefs don’t cancel theirs out and neither one of us can or should be forced externally to change. Barring harm to any other, we should all be able to believe what we want.
That having been said, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that of the many petitions I’ve signed and causes I’ve taken up on the behalf of the gay community, I will not be signing the petition demanding that the Boy Scouts be required to accept gays, or atheists for that matter, and I don’t think they should be forced to take back the Scout leader they recently removed because she is a lesbian.
Is it mean of them? I think so. Is it unfair, unnecessary? I think those things as well. Is it instilling a really unfortunate lesson in a lot of kids of exclusion and bigotry? I think undoubtedly. But that’s the thing… those are my thoughts. My beliefs. The Boy Scouts is a private organization, and they shouldn’t have to pander to MY thoughts and beliefs. They get to be guided by their own. How would I like it if I started a club specifically to include gays and lesbians and their kids and it got really big and popular and then a bunch of Christians wanted to become club leaders and be all “AMEN! Hallelujah! God hates fags!” and when I was like “Get the hell out of my club you flaming douchebag!” a bunch of people demanded that I couldn’t do that? In my private club that I formed just so I could include gays and lesbians! Now I get that the woman that was removed for being a lesbian wasn’t in there being like “Amen! Hallelujah! Gay is okay!”, but you get my point. That’s the thing about private clubs - you kinda get to run your own show, even if how you’re running it is pretty shitty and tacky.
I don’t understand why the gay and lesbian community would want to put their kids in the Boy Scouts knowing their intolerance and prejudice, anyway. It seems akin to Al Sharpton demanding admittance into the Aryan Nation. Why? There are so many other organizations available for kids. If none of those are acceptable to them, why don’t they start one that accepts everyone - straight, gay, atheist, Christian, whatever. Either the Boy Scouts will change internally - not because of pressure from the outside but because they want to be on the right side of history and make a difference in the lives of ALL kids - or they will die as they gain further and further the reputation for being bigoted homophobes and a nation of increasingly tolerant and open minded parents refuse to send their children to join something so outdated and sad.
As a private, religiously directed organization, the Boy Scouts should NOT be receiving government funding, grants or assistance of any kind. You can’t have your cake and eat it too, guys. But they should be allowed to instill whatever terrible values they’d like into the children of anyone who is willing to send them off knowingly to that sort of thing. Do I think it sucks? Do I think it’s sad? Of course. But I can’t govern their beliefs anymore than I’d want them governing mine. Anymore than I think it’s okay that our Senators and Congressmen are governing the private lives of millions of gays every day by telling them they aren’t allowed to be married.
I think we should let the Boy Scouts have their beliefs because only in doing so can we, without hypocrisy, demand that others let us have ours.
- Bob: Hi, insurance company. I'd like to buy some health insurance.
- Insurance company: No. You had cancer when you were 3 years old, and the cancer could come back. We're not selling you health insurance.
- Bob: It's not my fault I got cancer when I was three! Besides, that was years ago!
- Insurance company: If we sell insurance to you, we'll probably lose money, and we're not doing it.
- Bob: But I need insurance more than anyone! My cancer might come back!
- Insurance company: We don't care. We're not selling you insurance.
- Obama: Hey, that's totally not fair. Bob is right, he does need insurance! Sell Bob some insurance.
- Insurance company: If we have to, I guess.
- Mary: This is cool. Obama said the insurance company has to sell insurance to anyone who needs it.
- Sam: Hey, I have an idea. I'm going to stop paying for health insurance. If I get sick, I can always go buy some insurance then. The insurance company won't be able to say no, because Obama's told them they have to sell it to anyone who needs it!
- Dave: that's a great idea! I'm not paying for health insurance either, at least not until I get sick.
- Insurance company: Hey! If everyone stops paying for insurance, we'll go bankrupt!
- Obama: Oh come on Sam and Dave, that's not fair either.
- Dave: I don't care. It saves me money.
- Obama: Oh for god's sake. Sam, Dave, you have to keep paying for health insurance, and not wait until you're sick. You too, Mary and Bob.
- Mary: But I'm broke! I can't buy insurance! I just don't have any money.
- Obama: Mary, show me your piggy bank. Oh, wow, you really are broke. Ok, tell you what. You still have to buy insurance, but I'll help you pay 95% of the cost.
- Mary: thank you.
- Obama: I need an aspirin.
- Insurance company: We're not paying for that aspirin.
My ex-husband was a real POS for the last couple of years of our marriage. I won’t go into it EVERYTHING here, because he did some really fucked up stuff that I don’t talk about to my shrink let alone the internet.
But let’s set aside for now the fact that after a year of counseling, and reading all the relationship books, I couldn’t forgive him what he did. Let’s set aside that I tried, despite being the victim of his garbage, to hold our marriage together and forgive and fall in love with him again. Let’s set aside the fact that from the outside, and to our young children, our marriage seemed fine so no one understands what happened. Let’s set aside that he’s now telling people I left the marriage because he didn’t make enough money, and I was bored of being married. Let’s set aside that I can’t defend myself, because I can’t utter the words of what he did to me. That I’ll never be able to explain to our children why I left, and tore their family apart. Let’s set that all aside because as unfair as that might seem, it’s not what’s been on my mind.
For two years leading up to my separation, I struggled in my marriage. I WAS bored. I was also having a hard time being attracted to the man that had gained almost 60 lbs and stopped taking care of his appearance. I was having a hard time with the drug use, the drinking. I was having a hard time being a secluded stay-at-home mom while he worked 60 and 70 hour weeks. Each step of the way I told him how I was feeling, begged him to change, to help, that something had to give or our marriage would collapse. By the time we got to what I’ve come to call The Point of No Return, I had already been trying SO HARD, and barely treading water. I barely had any love or respect left for him BEFORE he did what he did. I was just broken. I couldn’t do anymore. We were done.
When I left, he was a mess. My leaving did what my begging and pleading couldn’t do - it brought rock bottom. Losing me and tearing our family apart was the reality check he needed. He stopped the drugs, all the drinking, he finally went to counseling and working out and eating healthy. This July will mark 5 years since I sat him down and told him I wanted a divorce, that we were irreparable. In a lot of ways he’s still a total doucheface. He’s been locking my kids out of his room in the middle of the day to have sex with a girlfriend that is roughly 9 years younger than he is. He’s considering moving to another country to be with her, despite the fact that will mean leaving his kids here. He recently told me that my son’s hockey is much more important to his development than school. He’s kind of a wacka-cracka.
But he’s always done stupid shit like that, and in relation to where he was 5 years ago he’s much cleaner and healthier. He’s become a better human being - not perfect, just better.
I’m not one to deny anyone their right to happiness and improvement of self. I’d much rather he got better than worse. But… MAN FUCK THAT GUY.
He had to hit bottom in order to realize how bad it was and snap out of it and make changes. But that was MY bottom too. My life, and my kids lives, were totally torn the fuck to shreds. I’ve spent the last 5 years in poverty, working my ass off under ridiculous amounts of stress, just to get by. Everything I built, the family I created, were completely destroyed because HE couldn’t get his shit together. I told him he was going to lose me, that it would fuck our kids up, that what he was doing was horrifically destructive. I begged through sobs for him to get his shit together before it was too late. His response was to make it worse. So, so much worse. Instead of pressing charges, I went to marriage counseling. What more can you do as a wife beyond that?
Today his new girlfriend is with a man that is healthy and loving. She is with a man who is clean and understands the gravity of breaking something apart. He is that way at my expense, and the expense of our children. You couldn’t pay me to take the stupid asshole back, don’t get me wrong. He’s still the doucheface that would lock his kids out of his room in the middle of the day to have sex with a girlfriend that is roughly 9 years younger than he is; and consider moving to another country to be with her, despite the fact that will mean leaving his kids here; and who tells me that my son’s hockey is much more important to his development than school.
But I resent the fuck out of his happiness. I had to destroy my life and my kids’ lives in order for him to find it. He’s never acknowledged it. He’s never said he was sorry for the things he did, or for breaking our family. He probably never will. He’ll just keep telling people that I left because I was spoiled and selfish. I’ll keep swallowing it because I never want word to spread to our kids of what he actually did. I resent him, and I hope everyday that when Chris is finally here and my new family is finally in tact, I might be able to lift my resentment and let it all go. That living my own happiness will suck the venom from the wound. That I can stop feeding myself this poison.
Alternative Title: Pulling Out All of My Hair
Part of the “This Shit Actually Happens to Me” Collection
Background: My mother isn’t super great at, you know, acting like a mother. So when other people act like they are my mother by stepping up to the plate and throwing me a baby shower, she gets a little… territorial.
So a week or so ago I brought up that another woman, a surrogate mother of sorts that I’ve known since my teen years, was throwing me a shower and she should expect an invitation. My mother’s response to this was clipped, and the conversation was quickly changed to how she doesn’t see her grandkids enough. I mention at this point that if she wants to see us all she has to do is extend an invitation, and let us know a day that would work for them. She said okay, and she’d check with my step-dad to see what dates would work.
With that in mind, let our scene open on the conversation that ensued on the phone this afternoon:
Mom: So I talked to your dad about the BBQ idea and he said you guys should just come over whenever you have some free time. Just call first and say “We’re heading over!” We’re always home.
Me: Sigh. Mom, I’m pregnant and trying to move my fiance in and I have both kids full time right now. I don’t even know what free time is anymore. I call that time “sleeping”. I need to book a time or it won’t happen.
Mom: Well, I know you’re busy, that’s why it’s best if you just come by when you’re free.
Me: I’m never free. The people that see me see me because they make plans with me weeks in advance.
Mom: That’s not really how we work.
Me: That’s why you never see me.
Long, pregnant silence.
Mom (to my Step-dad): She needs to set something up so she can actually plan things.
Step-dad: Tell her just to come by when she has free-time. We’re always home.
Mom: Well I know but she wants a date to plan on.
Step-dad: Well i don’t know then, you figure it out.
Mom: What are you doing for the 4th of July? Do you have the kids?
Me: I have plans with (lady who’s throwing the shower). They’re having a big party and setting off tons of fireworks. We go there most years.
Mom: Well, why don’t you come by here instead?
Me: You live in the forest. You don’t do any fireworks, or go anywhere, and I have the kids.
Mom: I know but we can watch the fireworks at the Space Needle on TV.
Long pause as I let her digest what she just said.
Me: Well, I already told her we were coming out.
Mom: Okay, the weekend after?
Me: Kids’ birthday party that weekend, we’re doing a sleepover. The weekend after that I don’t have them, the weekend after that you have your party, the weekend after that is my baby shower. How about August 11th?
Mom (to my step-dad): How about August 11th?
Step-dad: August 11th?! I don’t want to book anything out that far in advance.
Mom: There’s nothing before that?
Me: Well, I don’t have the kids every weekend, for one. And July is bad for us with your party and their birthdays. Do you want to do it the Sunday of their birthdays? The 15th?
Mom: Oh, we don’t plan things on Sundays.
Step-dad: NO SUNDAYS. TELL HER WE DON’T PLAN ANYTHING ON SUNDAYS.
Mom: I am. We don’t plan things on Sundays. We want to just relax before the week starts.
Me: Okay, well what about the Friday before?
Mom: Oh, no, on Friday we just go out and have a beer.
Step-dad: NO FRIDAYS EITHER. I WANT TO RELAX AFTER WORK.
Mom: Your dad likes to relax on Fridays.
Me: What happened to “we’re always home”?
Mom: Well, I figured you knew I meant Saturdays. You know we relax on Fridays and on Sundays we want to rest before we go back to work.
Me: Well, I don’t know what to tell you Mom. August 11th is the first weekend I have free with the kids. You can take that weekend if you want it.
Mom (to my step-dad): What about August 11th?
Step-dad: Aren’t we going camping that weekend?
Mom: Oh, we might be going camping that weekend.
Me: After that I don’t have the kids, then my childbirth classes start and those are on Saturdays.
Mom: So your whole summer is booked except that one weekend?
Mom: Well, just a minute.
Covers phone, has muffled conversation with step-dad, comes back on phone.
Mom: You know what would just be easiest? You just let us know when you’re free and you can just swing on by. Just call us up and say “I’m heading over!” whenever you have a free weekend with the kids. We’re always home!
Me: Sure, Mom. Sounds great.
I’m 5 1/2 months pregnant, but my fiance lives in London, which is about 5,000 miles away from me. We’ve been working since November on his visa to bring him here so we can marry, and it’s coming to a close. By our estimates, he’ll probably be home for good in about 6 - 8 weeks.
He went home for the last time in the middle of May, so I haven’t seen him in over a month now. By the time he gets back, it will have been almost 3. Three months away from someone you love is a long time. I can see him on Skype and hear his voice, but there’s no one here to hug, to pet my hair, to help with dinner or to run to the store. When you’re pregnant and already have 2 kids that you raise full time, three months is FOREVER.
Since he left in May, my body and our son have changed drastically. His movements were barely a flutter in my belly last time daddy was home, and now his kicks are massive, somewhat painful, and move my whole stomach. My stomach, which was a delightful bump, is now the size of a watermelon and growing every day. Chris was able to be here for the main ultrasound, but everyday I’m sad he can’t feel him kick and squirm. Everyday I worry that something will go wrong and Chris won’t be here to help me through it.
As we come into the home stretch - only waiting now for the letter telling us when Chris’ interview will be at the embassy, at which he’ll be approved (or denied) and able to come home within a couple of weeks - it has been bittersweet for me. Sweet in that this is finally almost over, but bitter in that I still have to wait six fucking weeks.
People are well meaning. They say, “It’s only 6 weeks now, though! And then he’ll be home for good!”
Do you know what it’s like to go to sleep alone every night with a baby in your belly and no daddy by your side? Do you know what it’s like to just want to hug him, to just want to lean your head on his chest, and not be allowed even that simple comfort. To be in pain, or crying, and not have him there to comfort you? To have even the simplest happy moments saddened by his absence?
These people who are preaching “It’s only 6 weeks” probably couldn’t manage to go 6 weeks without their morning latte let alone go through what I’m going through. 6 weeks of waking up to an empty bed. 6 weeks of only hearing his voice and seeing his face during the brief windows in which the time difference isn’t detrimental, we’re not working, and I’m not taking care of the kids I already have. 6 weeks of dragging this enormous, achy, exhausted body around to do everything from dishes to laundry to working a full shift to grocery shopping to doctor appointments to hockey games, on my own.
Don’t tell me how small six weeks is, because six weeks is FOREVER. Go six weeks without your car, or without fast food, or without your kid, or without your fucking computer, and tell me how six weeks just FLIES BY.
I just had to vent. These are the things I rant about at 10am when I’ve woken up to an empty bed again.
A man with approximately $24,900,000,000 has just promised “limitless” support of the Republican nominee for president. Literally. Casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson is ready to crush any opposition to Romney, simply by dropping giant golden checks on the heads of those who dare to question the supremacy of the rich.
The future of American politics comes down to one question - can people outwork and out-maneuver the dollars of the corporatocracy?
My belief is that this will just ends up making Obama look like the underdog. In my opinion, this makes him look like a champion of the working class - poorer, but still able to overcome. That’s how we all feel right now; downtrodden by the economy and the corporations we work for or owe money too. A rich bully fighting for a rich bully? We’re the ants, they’re the grasshoppers, and this campaign is about remembering who outnumbers who, and who NEEDS who to survive. Romney’s following are just reminding us that Obama is not a grasshopper. He’s one of us. It’s going to win him the election.