Jan 27, 2009

Go with your gut

I just got off a major rant elsewhere on the interwebz and I won't repeat it here but it is becoming increasingly clear that I have not come far enough in learning to say NO.

Folks think I am a big-mouthed, snarky, opinionated PITA. Perhaps but never when it comes to the really important things and especially when those important things involve someone else's wants or needs. Can you believe that I am still putting other people first at my own expense. I don't do it to be a martyr and I wind up feeling used and abused and discounted. It's MY fault. I've got a big mouth and I matter just as much as anyone else.

A whole lot of the time I am all "whatever" because it really isn't important to me. I've also learned to keep my opinions to myself when voicing them will accomplish nothing and just roil the waters. Choose your battles, avoid a war.

Here it is now - engraved in stone; When my gut tells me NO, then it's no. Those who differ with me can rant and rave, stomp and shout; call me names - whatever. I will not be moved.

If the Momma ain't happy, then ain't nobody happy.

This Momma intends to be happy - y'all just better get with the program.

Jan 22, 2009

This has always bothered me...

If the president of the United States is a male, then his spouse is called the "first lady" - excuse me? Why should she be called anything other than "Mrs. _____" ? Why should the spouse of the president have any standing at all - did they run for office? Were they elected? Why should they have duties, responsibilities, an agenda, or an office?

Oh yeah, y'all going to say how the spouse works on the campaign, and all that entails. How the president's spouse is an integral part of the political machine - yadda, yadda, yadda.

And my question is - why? If my husband wanted to run for public office, that would be his business. He's got his life and career and I have mine. I don't do his job, he doesn't do mine. If I want a political life then I'll run for office.

This has bothered me for years. I am annoyed and irked by the title "First Lady" and I didn't vote for her and she should mind her own business. If the president's wife wants to be involved the way any private citizen is involved, fine, we all have that right but I didn't elect her and I don't want to see or hear about her little programs or even that she might have an agenda. I don't want the president's wife involved in the business of the government UNLESS she had run for office and been elected.

Yes, I know back in the old days an executive's wife had social duties, and there were (and probably still are) companies who would interview the wife of the man they were considering for a top position. That is such bull shit.

Y'all want to go off on a feminist rant about about how women nowadays are educated and skilled and have big important jobs and therefore they shouldn't be pushed into the background if their spouse has some top executive job - that is my point exactly. Some guy runs for public office, his spouse has a top position in some industry or other, he wins and the spouse now gives up her job to play some part of HIS job. Why?

I'll tell you why - because the American public expects it. They have expectations of the president's spouse. Look at how we trashed Mrs. Obama's choice of clothing. This is important? No - it isn't. People said "harumph, it's not what she wears, it's her brains and abilities". Yeah sure, but she wasn't elected to any office. I don't particularly care if the president's spouse has the IQ of a dead termite, the president's spouse has no standing - or shouldn't have.

When are we going to stop assuming, thinking, expecting married people to be extensions of each other?

I don't like meaningless, made-up titles. I don't like the idea of someone's spouse being expected to perform in some prescribed manner nor do I like the idea of someone exerting influence based solely on a made-up title and their spouses job.

Okay, that's off my chest - you gotta know this has been bugging me for over 40 years.
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And you know what else bugs me in a major sort of way? Ms. What the hell is that? MS is the abbreviations for manuscript. I am not now, nor ever have been a manuscript. If we have to use social titles, and I think we should because I do NOT like people I don't know calling me by my first name, Miss is perfectly fine with me. You can call me Miss and my birth name, or Miss and my married name, or you can call me Mrs. but you cannot call me Ms. anything. I am not a MS.

Jan 8, 2009

Smiles open doors

You remember when I spoke of one of the folks at the Senior Center, the gentleman who was quite hard of hearing? The first few days I was there I noticed he didn’t interact with anyone and one of the other folks commented that he was just odd. I didn’t know of his deafness at the time and I don’t think anyone else knew of his problem. I noticed he was having a problem with the computer and when I offered to help he said, quite curtly, that he couldn't’t hear and I should write notes. So I did. He didn't seem very happy that I insinuated myself into his world. Since then I have made a point of always saying hello when he was there and he began saying good-bye to me when he left.

Well today when I got in I noticed that the web page he was looking at was not at maximum size. I "asked" him if he would like it bigger, he nodded, I clicked on the box in the corner and voila – full size page. He gave me a big smile and said thanks. On his way out, he asked me if I could help him set up an email account. I told him “Of course”. He said “Next time”. I’ll have to remember to bring lots of paper with me to write out my side of the conversation.

I reached out to him and he responded. A smile opens so many doors. How often do we pass someone by because we think they are odd or unfriendly, when all it would take is a smile to open a door? For how ever long he has been going to the senior center and hanging out in the computer room, everyone thought he was unfriendly. No one managed to figure out that, despite hearing aids and his ability to speak, he couldn’t hear them!

I’m please as punch with myself, that my compulsion to stick my nose into everything and to try to help has had a positive outcome. (Let’s face it, sometimes I get smacked down, and rightly so in many cases, for that kind of interference.)

Please, smile at that odd person you keep encountering in your daily travels. It just might open a door you didn’t know was there.