Sudden Memories, Life Lessons

September 15, 2020

Early tonight, I had a sudden flashback from my youth. I was in the midst of washing the dinner plates when my partner placed his morning coffee cup beside the sink. He always leaves his mug on a side table (depending on where he sits on the couch). I use to clean up after him, but as some point stopped. When he put the cup down (as he has done many other days), I suddenly remembered an exchange with my Dad.

My mother and my siblings had stopped by the hospital where my Dad was working. His secretary had given me a candy bar, which I unwrapped and eaten in the hallway. As I passed a janitor pushing his cart, I tossed the wrapper into the cart, smiled and said thank you. My father looked at the janitor and said “I apologize for his rudeness”. I was taken aback and wondered what I did. Was it because of my tone during the “thank you”?

When we got closer to the car and out of earshot from any passerbys, my father told me that it was rude to toss trash towards people. He said I could have tossed it into a nearby trashcan where it would have been picked up later.

My Dad is the most polite person I know. He over tips, regardless of the service. He explained people have bad days, but they still need to make a living. As a physician, he never barked orders at his nurses or orderlies or anyone assisting him. I have rarely heard him raise his voice at my Mom, even when she raised her voice with him. And although he didn’t spare the rod with us, he would later apologize for the form of discipline but not for the punishment.

The lesson I still learn from him whenever we speak is be kind. Show respect. Mostly, be kind.

P.S. this is not a criticism of my partner placing his coffee cup near the sink. I like doing the dishes. I volunteer to do them.

Begin Again

September 10, 2020

I can feel autumn in the air. It’s my favorite time of the year. There isn’t snow or ice on the ground. There is sunshine without humidity or extreme heat. It’s sweater weather! Evenings will be spent on the balcony watching the sunset.

This time of year is like renewal. I know that technically spring is the season that represents renewal. For me, it’s autumn. It brings back so many memories of the start of a school year. I loved shopping for school supplies. I loved the first couple weeks of school. I spent a good portion of my life in school. After graduating from high school, I got two college degrees, one post-graduate and one doctorate. Call me crazy, but I’m seriously thinking of going back again.

As I watch the last blooms fall off our garden plants, I still feel like it is a new beginning.

Politics Can End Friendships

September 8, 2020

A few years ago, I was dining with some friends. One of them brought their “hag”. It was a safe place. Five gay men plus the guest freely talking about topics which we can only discuss with other like minded menz.

Someone brought up the upcoming election and politely asked “who is voting for whom and why”. The hag said “I’m voting for…”. Someone challenged her on her choice saying “my dear he doesn’t like the gays”. She replied matter of factly “that’s just one of his issues, but the other bigger agenda items will help the country”. If I were wearing pearls they would have been clutched so tightly that my palms would bear their imprint to this very day. I said “that a huge issue and it marginalizes the majority of this table”. Another said “take the word LGBTQ out of this so called issue and replace it with a race, any race”. She said “oh that’s different because I think his issue with the gays is based on his religious upbringing. He’s not a racist”. No one said anything else and the topic was swiftly changed.

Last night I got a text from the hag. She said she hadn’t heard from me in years and was wondering how I was doing. I responded “I’m fine” without returning the question. She tried to carry on the text conversation, but gave up when all my replies were mono-syllabic. She ended with “we should do lunch some time”.

Now why would I want to be friends with someone so shallow minded. I asked her friend why they were still friends. I explained to him that I had just gotten a text from her. He said “oh you must forgive her ignorance. You know think along the lines of bless her heart”. Yes, bless her heart and bless yours for tolerating the blatant disregard for all of us.

Regression

September 6, 2020

It’s a long weekend.

When I was in high school and junior high I loved long weekends. I would stay up, watch television, eat junk food, and watch some of the movies, television shows and MTV videos I had taped on VHS. I loved MTV back when it was just music videos. My favorite videos were Madonna’s, especially Borderline.

This weekend, sans VHS, I’ve done the same. In place of the VHS is my Netflix and Hulu queue. My partner giggled when he logged onto Netflix and saw that I watched some Vampire Diaries and South Park. He gave me a puzzled look and said “Vampire Diaries? Really?”. Yes! Ian Somerhalder and Taylor Kinney need I say more? Although I watched the series in real time, it came up as a show I might like because I had watched Riverdale, Thirteen Reasons Why, and To All The Boys I Loved Before. I realized I might be mentally stagnant!

And tonight since we don’t have to go to work tomorrow, I will have my own slumber party. I’ve bought some gummi candy and chips and will order Chinese take-out. This is probably the reason that long weekends cause more exhaustion than rest. I will return to work having had no rest. My mental state of mind will have completely reset itself and that makes it all worth it.

The Disappearing Comments

September 4, 2020

I’ve decided that I’m going to read blogs rather than use social media. It’s so close to the election that I just get frustrated, angry or feel hopeless. And I don’t want that for myself, especially during this pandemic.

I’ve read so many great posts. I go down a rabbit hole. I click on a blog that I read regularly, comment and then someone else’s comment (above mine) catches my eye and I click on it. It brings me to a new blog and I read and learn new perspectives. Some authors moderate their comments (which I understand). I am on WordPress and some of the other blogs are on blogspot. When I comment on a blogspot, I use the “name/url” option to comment. Those comments often times disappear. And I’m baffled. My comments are never “troll” quality, but re-affirming.

Now my other problem is, the blogroll on the side of my blog. I don’t know how to edit it to add all these new and wonderful blogs which I have stumbled upon. Does anyone know of a way I can edit it? Or maybe add a new one? I rely on my memory to get to these new blogs and I should not…that’s fodder for another post.

A Walk in the Park

August 29, 2020

This morning I woke up and took a walk in the park. I put my headphones on (Red Hot Chili Peppers) and blocked the world out. While listening to the music, blocked out all other thoughts. I let the music take over for a total of 4 miles.

A few weeks ago, on a hot mike, a sports announcer uttered the dreaded degrading “F” word. A word which still takes me aback and feels like a sucker punch. His first apology didn’t include the LGBTQ community, but was offered to those that signed his paycheck. Much later he addressed our community, but it probably came because of a publicist’s consultation. And much later, he claimed to not know the history of the word. Seriously?Stop talking!! Just stop. Some people should just leave their apologies at “I’m sorry”.

I love sports. I love watching football and baseball games. I prefer being in the stadium with the crowd. But there was always that gnawing feeling “do I belong here? Will someone in the crowd shout something homophobic”. Growing up, I did not feel like I could be a part of that world because guys like me, “F’s”, were not tolerated. We were made fun of and were not considered athletic. In high school I proved my classmates wrong. I was the only player on the mens tennis team to win regionals and get to the third round in the states tournament. However, locker room talks chalked it all up to “luck” and theorized that “maybe the other guys I was playing were also sissies”.

So when I heard this announcer using that word, it brought back all those locker room memories.

But I am putting that negativity behind. I took some time this week to dance like no one was watching. I sang “Melt With You” a top of my lungs while driving to the pet store yesterday (while my pup sat in the back and swayed, barked and smiled to my singing). I will go on a date tonight with my partner of five, almost six years. I will live my best life.

Entitlement Manners

July 24, 2020

I was walking through the park yesterday when I witnessed a kid (between 12-14. I can’t gage ages as I don’t have any kids of my own) raising his voice in exasperation at some adults using the baseball field. First I thought he may have been one of their kids. However as I got closer, it was apparent he was not their child, but another park visitor. He was telling them that they have taken long enough on the field and his friends were coming and they needed it to play baseball. The woman assured him they would vacate the field when his friends arrived. She said this calmly, much more calmly then I probably would have. He again expressed his frustration stating “they were hogging a field that should be shared with everyone”. And like any misbehaved three year old, kicked some dirt and stomped off to a bench.

The walking path which encloses the park is about a mile long. By the time I got back around to the baseball field, it was empty. Sitting on the bench was the disgruntled kid anxiously checking his watch and phone. None of his friends had arrived. I assume the 4 adults had acquiesced to the tantrums or didn’t want to listen to the whining. I’m pretty sure their day was ruined.

My third turn around the park (it takes me a little over 15 minutes to make the rounds) the kid was now fuming, still by himself.

What has gotten into our youth? I would never raise my voice at my own parents, much less a stranger. I don’t understand.

In some more pleasant news, still taking Anne Marie’s advice, I danced like no one was watching to Lisa Lisa and the Cult Jam’s “Lost in Emotion” yesterday.

A Little Privacy, But More Decency

July 18, 2020

About a week ago the news announced that a famous actress was missing after an outing with son. The story was followed daily (the a.m. news, the evening and the bedtime news) until they found her body. A very sad ending.

I understand that a celebrity loses some of their privacy. The media is obsessed with the life of a star. We as fans want to know who they are dating/married to, what they eat, where they live/vacation, when a new project will come out, or how they spend their money. But I think a line should be drawn the line when tragedy/illness/death is involved. These involve more than just the celebrity. It involves their parents, siblings, children, spouses and friends. I’m sure it’s agonizing having to live it in real time and then to be reminded on the radio, television and internet.

I hope her family members find solace in their love for one another and their love for their departed.

A Little Love

July 7, 2020

Today I took Anne Marie’s advice and “Danced like Nobody was Watching”.

This afternoon I was preparing dinner for my partner and I. He was still on his way home. I asked the device named Alexa to play some 80s music. She complied and the song “Put A Little Love In Your Heart” by the Eurythmics came on. My feet started tapping along and before I knew it, I was swinging my hips. And it felt good, really good. My dog sat up and stared. I believe she picked up the vibe and started swaying too. I looked at my reflection in a window and I looked good. In reality, I bet I more or less mirrored Phoebe Buffay from the Friends episode where she tried to seduce Chandler Bing (on YouTube look up Phoebe-Maybe i´ll dance for you).

And then the song started to fade, so I walked back to the kitchen…wait for it…the next song that came on was “Things Can Only Get Better” by Howard Jones. I had to keep dancing. My dog followed suit and wildly wagging her tail.

This dancing did wonders for my soul. I’m downloading both songs. I will dance again tomorrow. I may even add singing along to my routine.

Our New Normal

July 3, 2020

The city I live in has mandated wearing masks while in public. Mind you, I have been wearing masks since the day my office made the decision to work from home. I just felt it was safer for me and safer for the people who come near me. I don’t mind wearing it.

I am not sure what all the hub-bub about wearing them is all about. I don’t get why people are so angry. I don’t think it is a big deal. Statistics show that wearing them can prevent the spread of the virus. If other countries are flattening the curve because their citizens are wearing a mask, I think perhaps we can also follow suit.

I went to get a haircut today. The whole process was so different. In a place that usually sits 8, there was only 3 customers in the whole salon. There were 4 stylists, and the one who wasn’t “styling” was checking in customers waiting in the parking lot.

Some other new normals? My partner and I haven’t eaten out in quite awhile. We recently (about two weeks ago) started eating in places that have outdoor seating. For our Friday date nights, we mostly order in. While not romantic, it is romantic (even with our pup begging for a bite). The commute is convenient and we can also have as much wine as we want without consequences.

One of our friends returned from a trip to the beach. He never wears a mask (posted selfies of himself on said beach sans mask) and does not believe that the virus is real. But yet, he does believe because of some unfounded article that he is protected from the virus dues to his genetics and age. He asked if he could come over tonight to have some drinks on the balcony. My partner told him he would have to wait three or four weeks before he came over. He angrily told us we were buying into the hype.

Well our household not only bought into the hype, but put a stake in it.