I recently read a blog about how childless women – particularly married childless women in their 30s – often take a lot of shit for not having kids.
I was like, “Whoa... this woman has something to say.”
And, I was right.
I get it all the time. People will ask me, “Do you have kids?” This question typically follows my reveal that I live in L.A. most of the time and my husband lives in Minnesota. My answer is always, “No kids; just cats.”
That’s me, trying to put light on the conversation that undoubtedly will turn to sympathy. Or judgment. Or confusion. Or all three of the above.
Or any number of thoughts.
I recently had a women, no joke, say to me: “That makes me so sad. That you won’t ever have children.”
WTF? When did my uterus become an issue of your concern?
Grief is some tricky shit.
I apologize for the language... I tried to think of any other phrase that would set the stage for this blog; for what I’m feeling... somehow “grief is some tricky stuff” didn’t cut the mustard.
I’m fairly cerebral in my life processes; meaning that I tend to make sense of things by “thinking it out.” That is, I try to work everything out in my brain. If I can explain it away, with a reasonable argument and step-by-step analysis, I can process and move on.
I can’t make sense of what’s happening in my heart.
There are varying levels of grief. You can grieve the loss of a loved one (death). Grieve the loss of a loved one (divorce). Grieve the loss of your skinny jeans (just getting fat).
Obviously that last one is super-superficial.
It’s strange how I’ve processed grief in the past. When my grandparents and great aunts and uncles (who treated me like a grandchild) passed, I think I was still too young to realize what this meant. They were elderly; many in the stages of dementia and disease. What I didn’t realize is that while I lost a grandparent, my folks lost a parent.
And, while I haven’t lost a parent, I’ve lost a parent-in-law.
It's Veterans Day.
A day we honor the men and women who have served in the United States Armed Forces.
Unfortunately, this day has gotten a bit lost in our ever-growing self-serving society, where it simply means a vacation day from work or an extra 20 percent off at Macy's.
If you ask me, that's a tragedy.
Course, I'm a bit biased in this department. My mom was a nurse in the Air Force. My older sister served in the Air Force as well, and now is climbing the ranks in the Air National Guard. Her husband is retired Air Force. My younger sister served in the Army. My best friend lost her brother, a Marine, in Afghanistan.
So, yeah, I can appreciate what these individuals do... and it's why I have such a hard time understanding why our veterans aren't being taken care of in the way they should. I fail to comprehend how we bring them home from war and then -- more often than not, it seems -- leave them to their own devices to deal with what they've seen and what they've done.
The result is not acceptable.
A few weeks ago, social media and other sites blew up with the news that France had banned working after 6:00 p.m. Well, at least sending work emails after that time.
Here in the U.S., we rejoiced for the French and silently hoped that our very own country would follow suit.
It turned out that, in fact, the French did not make it illegal to send work emails after 6:00. Apparently, according to the Washington Post, the buzz stemmed from “an agreement made between labor unions and a federation of engineering and consulting companies, affecting 250,000 people and involving no official laws.”
It was like a bad game of Telephone via the World Wide Web. By the time it made its rounds, the real story had turned into something completely, well, wrong.
tel-e-phone [tel-uh-fohn]: the party game where a phrase is whispered down a line of players, with the goal of that phrase coming out the same by the end. Which, of course, never happens. “John and Amy are having a baby!” turns into “Don and Amy are going to Vegas!” Amy, I don't know who the heck Don is, but if he knocks you up, for the love of all that is sacred, please don't bring your screaming, crying child to Vegas.
So, no. The City of Lights did NOT decide to turn its lights off at 6:00 p.m. so that all French people could go home and watch Game of Thrones.
Besides, if it had been true, what about all the service industry folks? Why shouldn’t they be considered just as hard working as those business professionals and be able to shut down at 6:00? They might even be more physically, emotionally and mentally taxed than those in suits... I mean, have you ever had to deal with a rude American tourist?
It was a good thought, though, and for one fleeting moment, many of us were excited about the possibility of change. What if we didn’t have to be connected to our phones, email, laptops, tablets ALL THE TIME?