Sheesh, Why so Serious?


For the second time in a year, someone has compromised my debit card. Yikes! How’d they do it? I have no idea, I might be tech challenged, or disinterested in the how.

I wonder who does these things and always want to make up a back story, an interesting story. Again though, who ever did it has low standards. What did they do? Bought gaming software, just like the last time. So I picture some kid, living in his parent’s basement, playing World of Warcraft all day and compromising cards by night.  The usual calling of the bank, reporting the fraud, filling out forms, and having to wait for a new card to be delivered is done. No back story to make of that. I come from a long-line of un-solemn people. I come from a long line of people who can find humor in anything.

In looking at my banking statement today while on the phone with my bank, I had a moment when I saw to whom the charge was made, MoneyBookers UK, when I told the bank person, “YAY! someone bought hookers, finally a good story!” There was that moment of silence when she couldn’t tell if I was serious or not and refused to say a thing. Honestly some people are so serious.  What a great story that would have been if someone  bought hookers with my card! Gone to Tahiti, ridden the Orient Express! What do I get? A snot nosed kid living in a basement terribly pale due to lack of sun…and not because he’s a vampire.

Once, while working some glass in a friends shop, we were making up stories about people who walked by.  While we were yakking it up and cutting glass, two men came in and started wandering around. They were speaking in hushed tones and touching items, not really showing an interest in us, the items, or the fact that we offered to help them. Never one to leave things alone…when they walked closer looking at our work, I started in. “You two are awfully quiet, may we help you with anything?..”No thank you we are just looking around.” “Well, I said, since you are terribly quiet I was just wondering if you had heard the rumors about the shadow government being in the basement of my friend here’s shop?” Dead silence. My friend, the shop owner, plays right along. “Oh yes, they have been there for quite a while and we always whisper when we know they are listening.” Still, no reaction, no comment. So I looked at them again, and in all deadpan seriousness said, “Look if you are casing the place for a heist later, you should know we are broke, the cash register owes us money, and we are after all protected by that shadow government in the basement.” Finally, one of them looked at me, slowly pulled his sport coat aside, and there was a gun and an FBI badge. Oops. Honestly some people are so serious.

My Mom had cancer. When they found it in her brain, we all knew the outcome. During her time of illness, she had a birthday. I bought a card with a bunch of old Italian women standing around a block of ice. Encased in that ice was a woman. The old women all looked very serious staring at the woman in the ice. The card had some inane saying like, “She looks like time stopped for her”. I thought it was hysterical, and I knew mom would too. My husband had a coronary. We had a row about how he thought it was in bad taste, I thought my mother would think it was very funny. He refused to sign it so I gave it to her from just me.  She laughed so hard tears were rolling. I looked very smugly at my hubby. Honestly some people are so serious.  I get that find humor in everything from her.  She called me one night a little bit panicked that she had just gone to the “ladies room” and her “poo” was black. She thought she was having blood. We spoke about it a bit, and I told her I would come the next day and take her to the doctors. This did seem rather serious. I worried all night only to have her ring me the next day and tell me to hold the ambulance, don’t call the funeral home yet…she was fine. Turns out she’d eaten a slew of black jelly beans the night before. I know, indelicate, but we thought it was funny.

One of my brothers once complained to an HR person on the phone, in another state, that he was frustrated beyond good measure that he couldn’t get a simple issue resolved. He made some silly statement like, “I am so frustrated you all may read about me taking hostages”, he then laughed and so did the guy on the other end. They both knew at the time he was joking. The comment made its way up the chain, and they called him and asked him to come in to work. When he arrived at the gate, they dragged him out of his car, searched him for weapons, inspected his car for bombs, then took him to a shed all night…like a scene out of Homeland. Honestly some people are so serious. Finally, his boss called and told the security folks it was simply his sense of humor, let him go. The retelling of this story by my brother had me shocked on his behalf and cracking jokes all the way through.  We thought it was so funny.  He could have however have ended up in a prison with no one knowing where he was, and still we laughed and laughed. His work does require a security clearance.  He uses me as a reference for that clearance, risky since every time they call I say stupid things like, “I don’t think this is funny, they only let him out for the weekend”, or “Oh, he is out now? Great!”

My Dad had brain cancer. While he was ill, we were watching the debates between John McCain, Hillary Clinton, Barak Obama. He a strong conservative, me a bleeding heart liberal. Half way through the debate my dad turns to me and says, “Hillary is the smartest person on the stage tonight.” I jumped up, ran over putting my hand on his brow as if he were fevered and said, “Oh my God, you really do have a brain tumor!!”  We thought it was funny.

My other brother had an ear removed due to a large growth. After it was over, we couldn’t help ourself….Want to borrow my glasses? Oh wait, they won’t stay up…How’s that blue tooth working? Can you hear me now? got a lot of play. One of us gave him Micky Mouse ears…we tortured him with good fun. Yesterday, he sent us a text with two fake ears on that looked suspiciously like elephant ears. It must be genetic.

I like finding humor in life, I get that from my family. I can’t figure out people who are so damned serious all the damned time. Aren’t we supposed to be enjoying this brief life? After all, rumor has it no one makes it out alive.

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I’M LATE POSTING, BUT MY NEW GOVERNOR WON’T BE ARRESTING ME!


I live in Virginia where I’ve spent the entire evening moaning, groaning and wondering what on earth were people thinking? Of course if Cuccinelli has won, that moaning and groaning would probably be illegal, and I’d be in jail. But as Lawrence O’Donnell said, Virginia is once again for lovers. In my mind this election was too close for comfort. I find that I am continuously surprised by who people vote for, and why. In 2012 women comprised more that 50% of the population of Virginia, we should be able to coast a candidate to office pretty handily.

When according to Guttmacher.org, more than 99% of women aged 15–44 who have EVER had sexual intercourse have used at least one contraceptive method, why would any woman vote for a candidate who wanted to make contraception illegal? Cuccinelli wanted to make it more difficult to get a divorce if you have minor children, he attempted to get a personhood bill passed which if a woman had a miscarriage could potentially see her being subjected to police involvement simply by the law of unintended consequences, he tried to outlaw oral sex! I had an elderly woman tell me she was glad he failed; she was too old to be jailed. His list of misogynistic beliefs is long. Why any woman would vote for him is beyond me. if you are for any of the issues he espoused, why would you vote for someone who wants to take away choice for women? It’s not always about abortion as so many women assume. It is about the right of a woman to make her own choices in her life.

So why did some women vote for Cuccinelli? Are there more important issues on the horizon for them? Everyone is concerned about jobs, but every candidate had a plan for jobs and if they failed, they would most certainly hear about it. Gun ownership? You got me on that one, I haven’t a clue. Taxes? There is a sense in Virginia that taxes are too high, and they pay too much for entitlements for the poor.

I don’t think it’s any of those things. I think Virginia is a rural state with women still living under the rule of a rather patriarchal society. I decided this year to take a sign and join a local “protest” for marriage equality. I was speaking to a woman I asked to sign a petition to support this issue, and she said, “I’ll have to ask my husband.” I was shocked to say the least, but I respected her statement and let it go. There is a sense that men take care of their women folk here. If I actually said I’ll have to ask my husband, my husband would be the first to keel over from a heart attack, and I would then probably check myself in to a mental health facility.

I understand that not all of Virginia is like this, so please don’t get on me about that, but I’ve heard that sentiment more times than I can count. I can remember my mother having a bible study with some women and they actually had an argument with her because they said the bible told them they had to submit to their husbands, and my mother said she felt that’s not what it meant. This view is still circulating like it is still 1950.

Some women have been lucky to break the glass ceiling, some women are strong enough not to be strong armed, some women make the choice to be submissive, and some women don’t actually care. These are their choices, choices earned through hard work and proof of our value.

I know a great many men who believe in a woman’s right to set her own course and they provide this support with great enthusiasm; my husband is one of them thank goodness.

But in 2013, “I’ll have to ask my husband” are words that shouldn’t be spoken by a woman unless she needs to know if her husband will pick her and her girlfriends up after a night out.

erasing your life…or parts of it anyway


Sadly, today I learned of a young man’s death.  Inexplicable to all including his wife and young daughter.  Events such as these make us
re-evaluate our life.  For me there are two things wrong with this…

First, why do we always wait until some tragedy strikes for self-reflection?  I try at least annually to look where I have been and where I might be going.  I evaluate where my volunteer hours are going, what I might be contributing, but my overall life takes a back seat to living life.  So, do we spend our “current”
life assessing what we are doing?  Would that impede any forward progress?  Who knows, some days I may say yes “live in the now” other times I may be more reflective.  Looking at our life introspectively too much may make us forget what our now is.  Not looking enough may make us forget what our tomorrow may be.

Secondly, do we change things because we believe they hold no value?  I am a serial volunteerer.  If I change that about me, and I change as a reaction to a tragedy, are my changes real or just reactionary?  Who benefits from this change and who suffers?  Of course, I could change and decide I like doing my laundry and that change would benefit me, and I don’t really see a down side to others but, that particular change is too much of a commitment for me to contemplate.

Today I took a look at my life as if it was a big chalkboard with my life schematic drawn out.  I decided I need a really big eraser.

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