I gotta say, my kishkas are really in knots over the Second Amendment. I believe, we as a country, are snow-balling towards greater tsuris each day. My Little and Big, shana madelas that they are, will grow up in this world. The Mrs. and I, we brought them into a society spiraling out of control, and I worry, oh how I worry, about their safety and wellbeing. Poo, Poo!
I’m talking about guns. Now, as you may have figured out, this lefty, liberal, jewish, lesbian is a tree-hugging, berkenstock wearing, granola chewing (albeit gluten-free) lover of the planet, and a pacifist. Here, in the US, we are picking each other off at alarming rates for no reason. A real shonda. And it all harkens back to this one sentence in the US Constitution:
“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
Doublespeak? Can you say ambiguous? Masters of grammar and the English language, I think not. Did the Founding Fathers even proofread this very important, horribly written sentence? Did they think about the misinterpretation matrix that ultimately allows those powerful schmucks in the NRA, with their gun-packing followers, to twist and turn these words with such vengeance and fear-mongering?
We can no longer sit back and say Beshert is Beshert. This, my goyim friends, is like when Doris Day would sing Que sera, sera. I say no more to, “whatever will be, will be”…The future is ours. We need to fix this awful mess to make the world safer for our kinder. The boychicks and madelas that so innocently trust, play, and explore, deserve so much more than we currently have to offer.
I can’t tell you how many times, this week alone, I’ve read how a youngster has found a gun in their home, and either accidentally killed their sibling or themselves. Shonda. Think about our president, who has held almost weekly prayer vigils for all of the mass shootings that continue to happen in this country. George Zimmerman is claiming, “Stand your Ground!” and getting off scott-free! People are shooting people. People are shooting cops. Cops are shooting unarmed people. Think about how 30,000+ lives are taken from us here, in this country, due to senseless gun violence. Shonda. Think how nothing has changed since Sandy Hook. Nothing! Shonda. This, they call rights?
Then, we couple these unthinkable acts with the GOP frontrunner (curiously, rhymes with RUMP), a real no-goodnik, who has the chutzpah to so proudly state this week in the news, while holding a rifle, “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any voters, okay?” They call him a candidate to lead this country? Shonda.
People, it’s harder to buy a car or rescue a dog, than it is to buy a gun. It’s harder to buy allergy meds at your local pharmacy! 30,000+ each year. At school. At the movies. At work. At play. Where will it happen next. Who is next? Why doesn’t it stop? Why is it escalating. The answer is always the same. Money. Money. Money. Inspiring fear sells guns. Kindling the misguided news that ‘we’ are out to take your guns, sells more guns. Ignorance, racism and bigotry sells more guns.
So, who among you will help me make this planet safer for the kinder? Help us to STAND OUR GROUND and be safe. We need to VOTE and to use our VOTES wisely people. Our kids depend on it. Humanity matters and should not be stolen so capriciously and painfully.
What a way to start a day! A great big THANK YOU to the extraordinary and brilliant blogger, Amy Punt, over at Insights From the Edge, for her most kindhearted nomination! Amy, such a master, a maven, you flat out made my week. It’s a mitzvah to be recognized for my writing (I’m kvelling!)!
Here are the rules, and I will do my best to dot every i and cross every t. Poo Poo!
Thank the person who nominated you and link up to their blog
Nominate at least 15 bloggers of my choice, including links to each one so you, my lovely readers can see what I am talking about! (When thinking about TheVersatile Blogger, one must keep in mind writing style, technique, uniqueness of subject matter and the level of love that exudes from the words on their pages)
Share seven facts about yourself
So, here are 7 things about me that you may not yet be Google worthy:
By day, I am an artists agent, selling the work of some of the most creative illustrators and animators that span the globe
I get up each day at 4 am so I have time to write, think, and share my blog, all before the din of the day arises with the Mrs., Little and Big. It’s like therapy, only cheaper
I used to own and operate a small pet boutique with the Mrs., and another couple called, In the Doghouse (Because pets are good people!)
I’m a Certified Coffee Master (and I’ve been drinking that delicious nectar of the gods since I was 5 years old)
I love pugs
I’m Jewish, but not at all religious. This Yiddish spiel, it comes from a love of this dying, robust language that oozes expression and flavor
The Mrs., she’s a shiksa, so our kids get the joys of both Christmas and Chanukah, sometimes refered to as, ‘Chanamas’
And now, I present to you, my nominations for this honor, The Versatile Blogger Award. Click on these links and find yourself in the pages of some incredibly gifted folks and all around alrightniks. Everyone has a special point of view, can elicit emotion, and is just pretty awesome. Mazel Tov to you all! (in random order):
Growing up, my mother told us (Shvesters) we were gorgeous. It was disingenuous. Even back then, at a very young age, I knew her words were for her. She would often fish for compliments with total strangers, coyly at the grocery store baggers, at restaurants with wait staff. To her credit, she was, and still remains a very nice-looking person. She took great pains to stay attractive, now approaching eighty years of life. Motivation for her was to look good on the arm of my father. Not a whole lot more going on, unfortunately.
My sister—her beauty comes au natural and is throughout. She favors my mom and has maintained a statuesque 3+ inches over her since the early teen years. Both were, and still are, very attractive. My shvester, she is truly beautiful, inside and out.
As a kid, I looked, and still highly resemble my father, who looks like his father did. Funny, resemblance was never a thing I could see until I became a mom. Likeness via DNA is powerful. I can stand at the airport or a movie theatre, a bookstore, and spot the packs of gene-poolers as they pass by. (Let the record show, that as a mom, I can also now detect fever and/or illness with my bare hand, nose picking clear from another room, and I have become completely desensitized to vomit and other bodily secretions that spout from the kinder. Prior to the arrival of Little and Big, none of these things were possible. I thought motherhood would also empower me the knowledge of how to fold a fitted sheet, but epic momma-fail there.)
Back to the premise here: The Mrs., she is a pure beauty. She even looks good with a paper hat atop her head during holiday dinners (just ask her mom! It’s no joke–and sorry, she won’t let me post one for proof). The kinder, my shana madelahs—together, I have three stunners from their inside core to the outer shell that is our body.
Me? No eye candy here. No meeskait; no train wreck, mind you, just normal. Well, less than average height and weight; run-of-the-mill graying of hair. My face is ‘a bit too well lined with character’ for my baby boomer ‘end of an era’ birthday. And, I will not for one moment, lose sleep over any of this. Why? Because I know I am a good person with a good core. Not just the ‘six-pack’ kind.
I do not fuss with my hair or even use a comb or brush. I had a fleeting encounter with makeup in my sophomore year in college (Bernice, remember?). I saw cotton balls in my home for the first time when the Mrs. first moved (in 1998!). I still have no clue what their main purpose holds. I want to thank Nature’s Knowledge for letting me know I can add some apple cider vinegar to a cotton ball and use it as toner for my face. (I do this now!) My outfit of choice is jeans, Dansko’s and several layers of shirts, and a hoody to keep warm (Blizzard of 2016 Jonas or not). Yes, I’m happiest in a hoody and sneaks, just like big-Daddy Zuckerberg himself. I despise dressing up and find shopping to dress up even worse. I come to you purely, sans schmaltz. What you see is what you get, always. And when you know me, you can see me inside and out. That’s the emmes truth.
My kinder are the ‘girliest’ of girls. I have learned to spy, with my little eye, a dress that has good twirl (this matters)…shoes and leggings that will enhance with sparkle, dazzle and élan, and what will ultimately make my daughters smile like Cheshire Cats. The fashionista-gene has been passed, along with the wherewithal to shop. I have made the case for pink chucks to no avail. Recently, Big announced she wanted a pair of pants! To my ears, such music! Kvelling!
So, not too long ago, that nice chap with the white beard and jolly red suit, he brought us tickets to see Beauty and the Beast (Feb.)! After studying the picture Mr. Claus left with the tickets, Little said, “Ema is Beauty, and Mommy is the Beast!” Okay!
Not long after, I was told that the same kinder, spry little fox that she is, was discussing Harry Potter and said, “Mommy can be Dumbledore.”
Thankfully I have thick skin, a good sense of humor, and the joy in knowing that my kids find me worthy of a Disney extravaganza! How can that be bad? I remain unscathed and well hooded. I embrace my inner and or outer beast and welcome another delightful day in momma’s house. After all, how many kids think their momma is Broadway Bound? Out of the mouths of these babes, right? Nu?
A new weekly feature for you (really, for me. Remember, you are mytherapists).
Many months ago something happened that gives me such shpilkes, even today. The Mrs., she takes Big to the doctor for her yearly check in. Little tags along, as she usually does. This is usually not too traumatic of an event. We love our doc and the visit is always followed up with ice cream for all! What’s not to love?
First, let me tell you that Big, she is fine. Our regular pediatrician is out on some emergency, so they ask if it’s okay that Big sees a male doc for this visit. This I think is nice thing. We say of course, no problem. We have no issue here.
Mr. Doc comes in, seems pleasant, engaging—all is good. A little doctoring goes on, looking in the ears, listening to the heart, etc. then he says to Big, “Do all of your friends hate you?” Big, (all of seven years old) looks perplexed and worried. The Mrs., she is mortified.
Mr. Doc continues to spew, “Don’t they hate you because you are so beautiful? If they don’t now, they will soon.” This, he says to the most sensitive little madelah on the planet. On a regular day, she is like a sponge soaking in the pain of the world. Really? We needed this new burden added to this thoughtful kinder like we needed a loch in kop?
The Mrs., she speaks up. She says, NO! THAT IS NOT A PROBLEM HERE. WE DON’T WORRY ABOUT THIS! NO ONE TALKS ABOUT IT! With eyes bulging and body language that I’m certain, has this medical macher in need of new boxers.
The rest of the visit is uneventful, thankfully. The Mrs., she has to explain to Big and Little, that the doc, he made a bad mistake. No one will hate her for being beautiful. To be a truly beautiful person means you are filled with kindness, compassion and love for yourself and others. Beauty comes from the inside out.
We have heard about Big’s allure from many, but never put forth in a way so crass, so blissfully ignorant and hopelessly tactless. Of all places, we would have never expected something like this to occur at our children’s medical establishment.
So Mr. Doc and those that surround you and your small thinking, you need to know that both of my girls are gorgeous in my eyes. Both of my girls are so much more than a pretty face. Do not, dear Doctor, ever hold them to such low standing, that you expect them to ride free on their stunning aesthetic qualities. They both will carry with them an appeal that comes from who they are on this planet and how they relate to their fellow human beings. They will utilize their brains in virtuous ways because they are cultivating a love of learning. They will grow up to become whatever it is they want to become, because they will both work hard and know they can. They both will lead and dictate their paths.
Hate is a mighty strong word. Please watch where you use such a term in today’s society; it resonates so freely off the tongues of way too many. Where lives get cut short over senseless violence, racism and bigotry. There are probably countless despicable persons on the planet, yet few deserve such a term as ‘hated’ from another individual, as my Big.
Mr. Doc, you have ticked me off in ways that you will never know or comprehend. And I do not hate you. I do fear and worry that there are more out there that think like you—and, I am one pissed Jewish Mamma.
Aa is for Alte Kocker: an old fart, old and complaining; kvetching. This is a picture of my Nannala and me–I was a young pisher and she was my favorite Alte Kocker. Oh how I miss her unconditional love and sense of humor. My Little, she gets a lot from this one…
Bb is for Ball: 1. kneidlach; matzoh balls, 2. chutzpah; has a set
Cc is for Coffee: You think without my coffee, I can have such a conversation? I’m verklempt; emotionally overwhelmed…Cc is also for ChemEx, the only way to brew. What, you don’t believe, kish’m tuchas! You suffer.
I have a good mind to trust in the fact that things do not happen for a reason. This, despite everything my father has ever taught me. Good stuff would happen. Bad stuff would happen. His response was always, “Everything happens for a reason.” He literally put the kibosh on my investigative, pre-Google era, inquisitive mind.
I tried to grasp this mantra of his around in my mind as a child often, completely unknowing that this was his, and was pure hooey. This was just another way for the sweeper to keep sweeping. I would watch my mother in astonishment from the corner of my eye as she would methodically turn the electric oven in our kitchen on and off for some 45 minutes to an hour daily, ritualistically. “Warm. Off. Off. Off. Warm. Off. Off. Off.” Was there a purpose here that I was missing? Did other oven users do this? Was this behavior described in the manual for best use? Interrupt the ceremony, and it would begin again. Okay, let’s have turning off the oven; TAKE 2—and, ACTION! “Hey Dad, why does she…”“Let her be, everything happens for a reason.”
The front door lock brought a similar practice for her, following the oven. “Click, opened. Click, locked. Click, opened. Click, locked.” I can vividly hear the clicking noise now if I close my eyes. I can see the blank look on her face as she tested that lock without limit. I couldn’t bear to put a time on this this behavior. It felt endless. One evening, after a few too many clicks, the lock stopped working. The emergency locksmith came out that night to fix the overworked doorknob. Once newly installed, “Click, opened. Click, locked. Click, opened. Click, locked.” So the game began again. “Hey Dad, why does she…” “Let her be, everything happens for a reason.”
Trimming the lawn with scissors, after the landscapers mowed. Raking the carpet after the vacuum left its pattern. Straightening the creases in the sofa pillows after someone sat down. Getting the dust ruffle just right under the bed so that the pleats read evenly. Rearranging the jellybeans in the bowl because someone ate one or three. Hiding the wires from the television behind the leaves of the plants. Straightening our personal desk drawers. Having a trash can in the bathroom that was not to be used for any trash–verboten. These were the things that filled her days. Every day. “Hey Dad, why does she…” “Let her be, everything happens for a reason.”
This response was not saved for just my mother’s mishegas (later known as extreme, undiagnosed OCD). My grandmother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer the exact same week I learned in high school about how cancer begins with improper cell division. “See, everything happens for a reason.” Suddenly, I was terrified to further my learnings about science, health, and biology. Who of my dear relatives would fall next? Was my Nanny victimized to further drive home the point of my father’s absurd refrain? This just could not be so.
The AIDS crisis began in 1981. I had just graduated from high school and this new, terrorizing disease was killing the gay community by the masses. “See, everything happens for a reason.”“But dad, what reason could make this happen? And out came hatred and fear and bigotry. And a greater understanding of the dreck from which he spoke.
I think now on so many things throughout history, life. Slavery. War. The Holocaust. Terrorism. 911. Racism. Mental Illness. Columbine. Sandy Hook. Aurora. San Bernardino. Oregon. Black lives matter. All lives matter. Ebola. AIDS/HIV. Cancer. Heart disease. Stroke. Hypertension. Driving while texting. Drinking and Driving. Addiction. Chronic pain. Malnutrition. Hunger. Homelessness.
What I have learned was Dad was wrong. He still is wrong. Bad stuff happens. Good stuff happens. Someone, somewhere cannot possibly make these horrid things occur with intention. I have reason to believe that we, as people, are better than that. Oh, and my mom could have been helped with tremendously by medication. Yet she continues, “Click, opened. Click, locked. Click, opened. Click, locked.”