Thursday, October 25, 2012

Too Angry to Be Eloquent

We’re getting to this point right now in the election where I just can’t believe what the hell is going on in this country. A War On Women? You have got to be kidding me! Yet I also am not surprised. If you remember way back in 2008 when I wrote this, I warned that if we were voting against gay rights, that Women’s rights would be next up on the chopping block. And they are.

I urge every person of voting age who doesn’t understand why this is important to think of this: your mother.

Let’s take my mother, for example. As an African-American woman from southwest Georgia, she was the first person in her family to go to college. Out of every single person I’m related to on her side of the family. And nothing was handed to her, ever. In fact, many things were taken away from her and she still “got out.” All thanks to hard work.

As a senior in college, my mom had decided to become an attorney, applied to Emory University and GOT IN. Now not only would she be the first person in my family to go to college, but she would also be the first to go to graduate school. Crazy. Craziness. Then, in late April of her senior year, the unthinkable happened. She got pregnant. As much as I love being here on the planet, and love my existence - even I can understand that the prevailing feeling had to be something like this: “FUCK. FUCK-FUCK-FUCK.” She had a very difficult decision to make, and she decided to keep me.

I have no idea what possessed her to do such a stupid thing.

But I’m glad she did, because this Earth place is pretty much paradise. But, without having any financial base to rely on, you kinda have to wonder what the fuck she was thinking, right? But she did it anyway. And the next September, there she was matriculating at Emory, with an eight month old baby on her hip. If that ain’t real, I just don’t know what is.

And that was just the beginning. For the next two decades, she moved mountains to raise me and make sure I was provided for. And it was in no shape or form easy. Not only provided for, but also fulfilled. I got an excellent education, played sports, made art, performed, did gymnastics, did diving, figure skating, we went to the theater, to movies, to museums, dance concerts and other cultural events to make sure I was exposed to the world at large. On top of that, she took me and picked me up from countless practices and rehearsals all while holding down a full time job as an attorney! Did I mention she was a single mother?

She moved mountains.

While my mother is amazing, she is not alone. Women move mountains all the time. How could we deny these women who quite legitimately pull off the impossible every day the rights to their own bodies? And some of these reproductive rights help prevent cancers! And you know what, when you look at the numbers objectively, men don’t look too good. Yes, I know this isn’t all men, but let’s get real: men fall asleep on the couch. Men don’t move mountains, MEN FUCKING LEAVE. And that’s just a casual, objective assessment of the numbers! And this has been happening for centuries.

A lot of conservatives tend to point out that I’m only here on this planet because my mother didn’t have an abortion. But that’s not completely true; I’m only here on this planet because my mother had a choice.

Women are amazing. If men had to be pregnant, let’s face it – the human race would die off. Period.

I urge you to think about this when you vote. Think about your mother, your sister, your wife and your daughters. Can you look them in the eye and tell them that they don’t deserve to be in control of their own bodies the same way you are? That they don’t deserve medical care that helps prevent cancers? If you are religious and having a difficult time with this, I urge you to get down on your knees and ask God to honestly tell you what to do. I don’t believe the response would be to treat any other of his creatures as less-than.

And we have to do this NOW, at this election. We have run out of time to be passive. Yes, it happens to be the right, moral thing to do. But most importantly, we should keep this in mind when voting for two reasons:

1. They deserve it.
2. We owe them.

[© MMXII MD TOTAL all rights reserved]

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Settle Down

It's a gorgeous October Sunday that feels like fall on the east coast, which is beyond rare in LA. I find myself staring into my full refrigerator trying to figure out what to make for lunch. It is full, though none of it is appealing. There's something about the weather that makes me want to drive. And just like that: soup! Perfect.

I hop in the car and am immediately annoyed, which is not rare in LA. People; drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists, seem to be making extra stupid, life-threatening decisions. I hear myself say "What the hell is going on," and realize it's the third time I've said that phrase in as many minutes.

At the store, I am astounded by how inconsiderate the other shoppers are. WHY would you leave your shopping cart in an aisle perpendicular-style? WHY would you back your cart out of an aisle without looking and into other shoppers, knocking them over? WHY would you bring toddlers into the store?!

But seriously, two guys completely shut down the self-checkout when they took the services of the employee when their incompetence put not one, but two - TWO of said terminals out of service.

I just don't think they understand the concept of self-checkout.

As I was waiting, listening to the other people in line making snide comments and giggling out of understanding, I was reminded of something that happened to me in the Wendy's drive thru a few weeks ago.

As I was turning into the parking lot, thinking about glorious melty cheese, the car in front of me wouldn't move. There was a truck stopped in front of the car, but there was more than plenty of room to move around. But the car wouldn't move. I sat there for a good thirty seconds with half my car in the street and half of it in the driveway, which was just enough to stop traffic in both directions. So I did the unthinkable: I honked.

Yet the car wouldn't move. So I honked again.

And just like that, the car finally moved and ordered. After I ordered and was waiting to pay, I noticed that the driver in front of me saw me in her mirror, unbuckled her seat belt, fully got out of her car and proceeded to yell at me.

"You are SO IMPATIENT!! Your life must be so miserable if you cannot wait a few seconds for me to move!!! Do you feel better by honking????!" There was such rage on her face and in her voice. For the first time in my life, I knew exactly what to say to her and I knew she had it coming. Instead I just listened; I waited her out. She paused then gave me the most peculiar look, turned around and got back into her car.

Just as I remembered that, the line at the self-checkout moved and things made sense. It seemed as if the more impatient I was, the more there was to be impatient about. I felt this overwhelming feeling, this presence, suggesting I be patient. And breathe. Even though that woman in the drive thru was being crazy, even though grocery shoppers are inconsiderate and seem to hate using their brains, even though screaming toddlers have meltdowns in the store, and some shoppers really have no business in the self-checkout EVEN THOUGH IT IS COMPLETELY SIMPLE IF YOU'VE EVER BEEN TO ANY STORE IN YOUR LIFE, JUST SCAN THE DAMN ITEMS AND PAY!

Even with the ridiculousness, just be patient. Maybe especially, even.

I wondered – have I ever actually been legitimately patient before? I’ve been silent, sure. I’ve definitely waited without whining. But patient…? Even waiting without aggression isn’t the same as patience.

As I drove home I felt a lightness that made flowers look brighter and an already beautiful sky more spectacular. And I understood that for me to get to where it is I'm going - which is for me to know and for you to find out - patience would have to win out. Otherwise, I might just be creating more to be impatient about.

But more than anything, I felt an overwhelming sense of love.

Ready to have your MIND BLOWD? Check out PART DEUX!

© MMXII MD TOTAL [all rights reserved]