Category: Life and Stuff


“It’s your fault. Why did you wear that dress?”

Those were the words the Rebbetsin spoke to me as I sat in her office after a boy had ripped open my snap-button denim dress because I wasn’t done sharpening my pencil quick enough for him.

I was nine years old.

After the incident, which happened in front of the whole classroom, I was sent to the office of the Rabbi’s wife . As a girl, being sent to the “Rebbetsin” was the equivalent of being sent to the Principle’s office.  The boy who ripped open my dress wasn’t sent anywhere. In fact, he wasn’t reprimanded at all.

It was my fault. I wore the dress.

I learned a valuable lesson that day. Not only was it always going to be my fault, but that turning to those in charge would do nothing. No one was going to help me.

  • A boy ripped your dress? Well, maybe you should have worn a different dress.
  • Your manager at McDonalds pushed you up against a wall and stuck his tongue in your mouth? Please, we all saw how chummy you two were, you clearly wanted it.
  • A co-worker keeps telling you that you have ‘child bearing hips’ and he would love to put a baby in you? You should be flattered because he’s hot.

In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein revelation, women have been sharing their #MeToo stories. They have been heartbreaking to read, yet not shocking. Most of us have dealt with some form of harassment. And while there are many people out there chiding men for their bad behavior, the folks who were most cruel to me after I tried to speak up, were women.

It was the Rabbi’s wife who told me that I shouldn’t have worn the dress.

And it was a female co-worker at my old job at McDonalds, back in my senior year of High School, who told me that our manager had every right to shove me up against the wall, near the garbage dump, and stick his tongue down my throat because I was always smiling at him and laughing at his jokes – Of course he thought I wanted it.

It was an older, female, co-worker who told me I should be flattered by the married guy who kept telling me he wanted to put a baby in me and my “child bearing hips.”

Just the other day, while discussing the Weinstein situation, a female coworker told me that while what he did was horrifying, she blames the victims for everything that happened not only to them, but to the women this guy raped and harassed after them because they should have spoken up sooner.

Another woman blamed the victims saying that if they dressed like ‘skanks’ they deserve what they got.

Why are women (mostly older ones) so cruel to other women who were harassed, and who now are speaking out about it?

Donna Karan came to Weinstein’s defense, talking about what a difficult position HE was in and that, we should, instead, look at how these women present themselves.

Mayim Bialik (yes, “Blossom” or, “Amy Farrah Fowler,” if you prefer), in an OpEd she wrote for the New York Times, said that women who ‘dress modestly’ are less likely to encounter sexual harassment. Essentially, proving, that even women who think they are feminists, still don’t get the point.

How are women supposed to report instances, if the first question we often hear is “are you sure?” Followed quickly with “what were you wearing?”

And how are women supposed to feel safe to report instances of harassment, when more often than not, the people asking these questions, and casting doubts, are other women?

And should women start donning birkas? Maybe we should all dress Frum? Would that help? And why is the onus on us? And why do we ourselves put the onus on us?

And if men are so weak that they can’t control themselves at the sight of a woman’s natural hair, or her elbows, or her knees, then how the hell are we, who are clearly so powerful that a glimpse of our smiles can make a man lose all sense of right and wrong, not the ones in control of the narrative?

Oh that’s right, because we really are our own worst enemies.

Women are vicious to one another. We are catty. We are the worst at victim shaming, slut shaming and judging.  We have allowed our cultural norms, which were set by men a long time ago, to force us to be in constant competition with one another. We watch shows like “The Bachelor” and “The Real Housewives” for the soul purpose to watch women be evil to one another.

If this #metoo movement has shown me anything, it’s that this has happened to EVERY woman I know. Every. Single. One.

Imagine if we all decided ‘enough is enough’ and actually stood by one another? No more slut-shaming, no more cattiness, no more excuse making, no more jealousy because of another’s looks, luck, man… Stop feeding into this notion that women need to be bitches to one another – it’s how men like Weinstein, Trump, Ailes, O’Reilly, etc, managed to get away with their shit for as long as they have.

Change the narrative.

Stop making it about “what did you wear?” And ask the real question, “What did he do?”

Stop teaching girls that we need to hide, or that our lot in life is to be submissive, or that we in any way, shape, or form, are to blame when men are the ones who can’t seem to control their ‘urges.’

Teach boys from an early age that women aren’t ‘less than’ and that ‘no means no’ and that if they see another boy/man disrespecting a woman, that he should stand up for the girl.

There are men who want to be our allies in all of this. I commend them. I’ve read their responses to the #MeToo movement, calling for men to do better.  I am heartened by their words and genuine horror at what they are witnessing in the revelations coming from the women in their lives.

But before we can accept their help, we really need to start to help ourselves.

And to that I must say #MeToo.

 

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“I think it’s terrible if you go with what Hillary is saying… in the ninth month you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb of the mother just prior to the birth of the baby. Now, you can say that that’s okay, and Hillary can say that that’s okay, but it’s not okay with me. Because based on what she’s saying and based on where she’s going and where she’s been, you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb in the ninth month, on the final day. And that’s not acceptable.” – Donald Trump , Las Vegas NV, 10/19/2016
Ever find yourself ‘woman-splaining’ women’s issues to a guy? You know, like, how no matter how evolved they are, they can’t understand fully how it FEELS to be a woman? There’s no ‘put yourself in my shoes’ examples that can fit. You can be sympathetic, but you really just don’t know how it feels.. No more than a woman can understand a man’s need to scratch his groin area every few minutes.. It’s gross.. Dude, stop.. No, seriously, get that shit checked out already k?
But the one thing men REALLY seem to not understand, is a woman’s reproductive system. I mean, they know the basics and many actually have evolved enough to care to read about all the stages a woman goes through from conception to birth, and stick by through every step of the process. But what’s become glaringly obvious, is that most men, even those who have had, say,  not just one kid, but 5, with 3 different women, still don’t have a clue.

Nothing can be more obvious than Trump’s ridiculous, insulting and glaringly ignorant remarks about “Late Term Abortions,” (please see above), and the largely clueless male response to the topic.

** An aside to the men who didn’t see anything wrong with Trump’s ‘opinion’ about Late Term abortions: Fuck you for not doing some research before saying stupid shit.  Kudos to the women in your life for not gagging you until you learn something.**
So for the past 36 hours or so, in addition to not being able to get Janet Jackson’s “Nasty Boys” out of my head, I’ve also found myself explaining why Trump’s answer is further proof that neither he, nor any man who doesn’t have a medical degree specializing in women’s health, should have any business trying to discuss, let alone pass legislation, on a woman’s right to do what she feels necessary for her own well-being.. I can go off on a rant about a woman’s right to choose, but I’ll just stick to Trump’s incredibly stupid remarks on late term abortions, which had me screaming at my TV.
Facts:
  • “Late-term” is after the 20th week of pregnancy. (24 weeks in some states) 
  •  Legally, unless either the health of the mother is in danger, or the fetus is not viable,  abortion after the 20th or 24th week of pregnancy is illegal in most states of the  union. What I’m saying is, you really can’t just walk in at week 25 and have an  abortion without a serious medical reason for it, let alone at week 36.
Reality check:  No woman carries a baby nearly to term and then arbitrarily says “nah, ya know what doc, rip it out of me, I don’t want it.”
Most women, who have carried a baby beyond the point of legal abortion,  WANT the baby. These women more than likely have had their baby showers, painted the baby’s room and picked out names. Making this decision is most likely the WORST thing that can happen to a woman who wants a child (probably only next to being told she can’t have any).
I’m not saying there aren’t women who get cold feet later in their pregnancies and think “holy shit, what am I doing having a kid?” That’s normal. And in extreme cases those women should, and often do, seek out medical assistance for their psyche – not an abortion.
Just to be clear – those of you who still think that Hillary Clinton approves “ripping a baby out of the mother even on the due date” – she doesn’t.
The fact that Donald Trump is an idiot about this topic, still holds true, however.
An all out ban on late term abortions, which is what Trump, and his frienemy, Paul Ryan, are hoping to make happen, is dangerous to women. I have no illusion that Trump or Ryan particularly care about women. Trump cares about Trump, and Ryan is just an asshole who advocates for rapist’s rights, but I digress.
The ban that the conservatives are looking to enact would have NO exclusions – none. That means that women carrying a fetus who may be suffering in utero, or who has no brain function, or who won’t survive outside the uterus for more than a few painful breaths, will be forced to endure the pregnancy and give birth to a baby who will live its short life in pain. Or, a woman who’s life is in danger because the baby she is carrying, who won’t survive outside of her womb, is killing her from the inside. It’s rare, but it happens.(Statistically speaking, 1% of abortions performed in the USA are performed after the 21st week of pregnancy. 1% folks, just saying).
To put a finer point on it, what Conservatives are saying is that they want every woman to carry every child to term, even if she’s carrying a brain-dead fetus who will never live outside her body, and who may actually end up killing her if she carries it to term. Right to life, my ass! What the FUCK?!  Anyone who can agree with that is an asshole. Yeah, I’m saying it. Fuck you. Unfriend me. Thanks. Life’s better already
** Oh and just an aside – If a woman has carried a baby to term the result is usually some form of birth, not abortion.  Even when doctors are fairly certain that a fetus isn’t viable, at 8-9 months they will still  either try to remove the child via c-section, or if the mother can handle it, vaginal birth – unless, the only way to ensure the mother’s health, again, is to abort the already not viable fetus. In any case the only ‘ripping’ that is usually being done, is in the mother’s sensitive areas because, well, baby-heads are kinda big.  But you know, Trump’s not the best at speaking coherently.  And anyway, Trump might enjoy grabbing a woman by the ‘pussy’ but he clearly knows nothing about vagina’s beyond what he thinks he can do with them. **
I can’t stress this enough – A woman who makes the decision to have a late term pregnancy terminated does so, in most cases, because she was told the baby she was carrying was not going to survive out of the womb. In rarer cases, the decision is made because of a danger to the mother. Again, most women who choose to go forward with a pregnancy beyond the 20 week mark, are playing for keeps. So, even in the case where the doctor tells a woman HER life is in danger, she, along with her doctor, will usually choose an option that will keep the baby inside her for as long as possible to at least TRY to have a healthy premature birth – not a late term abortion.  
 
“Wait,” you say, “what about the father’s decision?”  (Can you tell, I’ve spoken to ALOT of guys on this topic?). Here’s my take – If the father  is involved (not all are – just saying), then absolutely he should be in on the decision making process. But the ultimate choice goes to the person carrying the baby (which is, I believe, the only reason men are so determined to regain control of the issue – they hate that women have ALL the control in this case – but that’s a discussion for another time).
If say, the father  actually wants to go through with a late term abortion, and the mother decides to see if she can carry longer to ensure a baby’s survival, guess what daddy, her decision trumps (punny, I know) yours. If the opposite is true, guess what, again, it’s ultimately up to her. In this situation, the job of the father (or partner) is to be supportive. Don’t like it? Tough shit.
Until men can carry babies (and pigs fly, and hell freezes over, and Trump stops being a misogynistic pile of festering feces), the person that has the ultimate say on what can and can’t be done with HER body, is the woman. Doctors can advise, give options, and perform whatever procedures necessary. Fathers (or partners) can be a sounding board, shoulder to cry on, person who holds her hand while she goes through with whatever choice she made.
But the ultimate decision is up to the woman. Not men, not men in government, not men standing at a pulpit, not even the man sharing her bed – just her.
Now about that whole “Nasty Woman” thing….

 

It’s Something Unpredictable

But in the end is right

I hope you had the time of your life

-Green Day “Good Riddance”

(seriously, I know, it’s cliché, but appropriate…)

Last night marked the last time I would see Denis Leary as a guest on “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart.” Amidst the laughter and familiar banter between these two long-time friends, I was suddenly gripped by a very melancholy feeling. This was it. This was ALMOST it. Shit. This is it. I’d been dreading this since February… And here it was. The end of “The Daily Show” as I knew it.

Like millions of other viewers, I had grown accustomed to watching “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” for my daily dose of ‘news made easy to digest.’  And while the show itself is not going away, its’ host of 16 years will be. Like him or not; agree with him or not; Jon Stewart’s departure from the show he brought out of semi-obscurity and turned into ‘must see’ TV, will be the marking of the end of an Era. And while some (FOX News, Rupert Murdoch, RNC) will rejoice at his departure, many of us will certainly feel the void he will leave behind.

When Jon Stewart took over “The Daily Show” in 1999 from Craig Kilborn, he’d already had two talk shows under his belt (I was fortunate enough to have seen a live taping of his MTV show way way way back in the day).  He had been passed up a few times as a potential host for late shows on NBC and CBS. Everyone who had ever seen him do his schtick knew he was funny. I don’t think anyone expected him to turn, essentially, a ½ hour fake news show into a social phenomenon.

Throughout 16 years of rants, political opining, and social commentary intermingled with comedy, Jon Stewart stressed to anyone who questioned him, that he was simply a comedian, and his show was, essentially a “fake” news show. What it really was, was satire in the purist form. What Jon Stewart did with the Daily show was create a space wherein he could look at the days’ news and educate a populous that needed, essentially, “a little sugar to make the medicine go down.”

The fact is, comedian though he may be, he also knows how to deliver the news to a generation of people who simply cannot deal with the bullshit on CNN, MSNBC and FOX. We needed someone who can point at the ridiculousness of the daily news feed and those who ‘reported’ on it all and say “yeah, you’re right, they are TOTALLY Fucked up! No wonder you don’t give a shit anymore.. Here’s a way for you to hear what’s going on without the extraneous bullshit… and yeah, maybe laugh a little..” It was, I believe, largely due to his delivery of the news that an entire generation of people, less likely to become politically active, registered to vote and took part in the political process. Regardless of the outcome of the elections (two for Bush, two for Obama – he didn’t always get his candidate), he got the 20-Somethings involved in a way they hadn’t been before.

And it wasn’t just the 20-Somethings – He filled a niche that was needed in this country. One where those of us, fed up with hearing a whole lot of bullshit could hear our frustrations voiced on television in a way no one anywhere else could express themselves.  He seemed to speak for those for those of us who, while we may lean socially towards the left, really just wanted to scream at both sides of our political landscape for their extreme game of tug of war with our lives.

The writers of that show clearly were under the direction of a person who wanted to make sure that even his most banal jokes were somehow based in well researched facts – Something that supposed “fair and balanced” news channels rarely seem to do. If Jon Stewart named statistics – they were real. If he referenced history – it was real. And on the rare occasion his facts were erroneous, he apologized.

Despite purporting he was just a comedian satirizing the news, and making it palatable for those of us who simply couldn’t watch the train wreck our government, and our ‘real’ news media, had become, Jon Stewart was named the Most Trusted Newscaster in America in a 2009 Time Magazine Poll.

Politicians that have come on the show, including, and maybe especially, the President himself, have admitted that his interviews were the toughest.  They never knew what he was going to ask, or, what tangent he will go on in an effort to make them accountable for their actions. No, he wasn’t a serious Newsman, just a comedian. .. Or maybe he was just a guy who was asking all the questions the rest of us really wanted answered, as opposed to promoting the agenda of whatever the owners of a specific news channel wanted promoted.

The very evidence of his influence on the political and social landscape could be seen numerous times. He is credited with helping Vets gain better access to medical care, when after a searing segment on the inadequacies in the 40 mile rule in the “The Choice Program,” the Department of Veterans Affairs changed the rules making access to medical care easier for our country’s bravest. When a bill to help 9/11 first responders who came down with chronic diseases such as emphysema and lung cancer after breathing in the toxic air at Ground Zero, was blocked by Senate Republicans, an issue all but ignored by main stream media, Stewart decided to bring the issue to light. Three days after Jon Stewart dedicated an entire episode to the issue where he first lampooned the Senators blocking the bill, and then brought on a panel of first responders to discuss the issue, the bill was passed. Jon Stewart has also been credited with the termination of CNN’s “Crossfire,” the down fall of Glenn Beck, and the firing of Rick Sanchez. Not bad for a guy who is ‘just a comedian.’

Jon Stewart is also credited for helping launch the careers of Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, John Oliver, Larry Wilmore,  Kristen Schaal,  Olivia Munn, Ed Helms, Samantha Bee and Jason Jones (who are going to be launching their own show on TBS), Aasif Mandvi and of course, Jon’s successor, Trevor Noah.

Oh Trevor Noah.. What big shoes that man will have to fill. Not only is he replacing a man many of us turned to in the hopes of making sense out of the nonsensical, he is replacing a man even many politicians seemed to turn to to plead their cases. It sounds crazy that a comedian from Jersey who started his career, essentially trying to be the David Letterman of MTV, ended up being an essential stop on any campaign trail.

And while I have no doubt Trevor Noah will, much in the way Jon Stewart did, carve out his own path and gain his own following (hopefully, many Stewart fans will stick around as well), it is indeed going to be different. He is coming at this from a different angle. He has a different sense of humor. Even if he agrees with everything Jon Stewart has ever said, his take will be different and will more than likely take some getting used to. I am willing to try. But that doesn’t mean I won’t miss Jon Stewart’s perspective, which seems to so clearly reflect everything so many of us loyal viewers have thought but never saw reflected on any other channel.

I don’t know what the future holds for Jon Stewart, (other than the sanctuary farm he and his wife have purchased), but I hope after some rest and relaxation he recharges and comes back on the scene. It really won’t be the same without him.  Especially with the current election cycle! Seriously, I would’ve loved to have seen his post-Republican Debate commentary. With Trump, Christie, Huckabee and the rest of the clown posse on the panel, it will be a gold mine of humor that practically writes itself. Alas, it is not meant to be as his last day on air coincides with the first debate (coincidence? Maybe – but the only people who will benefit from Jon Stewarts absence will be FOX News and the RNC, sadly).

Either way, I genuinely do wish Jon Stewart all the best and hope he enjoys his (seriously) early retirement.

Get me out of New York City, Son. New York is Killing Me.

– Ray LaMontagne “New York City’s Killing Me”

I’ve been hearing about people fleeing New York City for greener (read: less expensive) pastures for a while now. Recently, this exodus has affected me, as many of my friends have decided they actually, and rightfully so, wanted more financial security rather than suffer through living paycheck to paycheck in a city they love. I honestly, don’t blame them.  Over-developing, or ‘progress,’ as some would call it, has killed this city’s culture, while making it virtually impossible for anyone who doesn’t make a six figure salary to live here. (Anyone who ever loved to spend time on the Lower East Side, knows exactly what I’m talking about)

It’s depressing because I love New York. I am, to the core, a New Yorker, born and bred. Raised in Brooklyn, then Staten Island. My family lives here. I know the streets. I know the history. I lived through some of the best, and horribly worst, times this city has ever seen along with so many other New Yorkers. It’s a part of me.

I. LOVE. NEW YORK.
But I’m not sure how much longer I can live here.

I’m past the age where living in a cramped apartment, arguing with a roommate over who drank the last of the milk is remotely feasible. I am not married. I live alone in an amazingly huge (and thankfully rent-stabilized, despite my landlord’s efforts to make it otherwise) apartment on Staten Island, with a view of the city. A view that is about to be blocked by some ‘progress’ that hardly anyone I know actually wants.

Staten Island was the last bastion of affordable New York City living after Williamsburg, Greenpoint and Bed-Stuy were taken over by developers, who, in the name of ‘progress’ killed the culture of these neighborhoods and turned them into luxury apartment, hipster enclaves that no one who isn’t wealthy, or willing to share a closet-sized dwelling with four people, can afford.

And now that there are no more neighborhoods to kill in the other four boroughs, developers have set their sights on Staten Island’s North Shore.

This sucks. I am tired of hearing how wonderful it will be for the neighborhood. I like my neighborhood just the way it is. It has always been deceptively on the seedy side – which was the beauty of it all as it kept all the assholes (hipster, yuppies, developers, etc) away.   I remember, my mother, upon her drive up to see what would become my current dwelling, seven years ago, nearly had a fit thinking I was insane for wanting to live in what she thought was a ‘bad’ neighborhood. That was until she turned the corner to the cul-de-sac on which my building resides, and saw the beautiful tree-lined block, with the huge, old houses across the street. Once she saw the size of the apartment, the view, the pool, and was told that heat and hot water were included in the rent, she helped me turn that place into the home I still live in today.

I’ve had some pretty rough times over the past few years. Financially, my life has been a roller coaster of crazy. But because I’m paying for my place for about half of what a shoe-box sized studio in Manhattan would cost, I have managed to somehow survive.

We hear politicians talk about ‘affordable’ housing – and yes, there are some very nice apartments, even in my neighborhood, slated for those who earn less than a certain amount per family member (I’m really not sure how they figure out the formula for these apartments but, okay). I don’t fit into that category, I earn too much, apparently.

I’m happy that those who have been struggling with inadequate housing, food, and salary for so long are finally being helped.  But what about the rest of us?  What about those of us who used to be able to afford decent housing and a decent life in The City, but no longer can do so because we earn too much money to live in affordable housing, but too little to live anywhere else within the five boroughs.

To be clear, I’m not saying that I in any way should be accepted into the affordable housing program. There are people in way worse circumstances than I am, and I believe they need, and should have, the assistance they are receiving.  What I am saying is, while I commend the efforts of the Governor and the Mayor to improve the lives of those who have fallen on hard times, (while simultaneously basking in all the extra money brought in by the developers and the consumers of their luxury housing options), I think they have forgotten that segment of the population that has been teetering on the edge for quite some time now. It is those of us in the middle that are running away from the city to pursue a livable life. You know, one where not nearly half our salary is going into the pockets of some greedy landlord or developer as housing costs rise, and salaries remain stagnant.

I’m not against progress, per-se. I realize that the neighborhood needs to be revamped. But does it have to go all “Williamsburg” on us? I couldn’t afford to live anywhere in Brooklyn now if I earned double my current salary and I am afraid that in a few years, I won’t be able to afford to live on Staten Island either.  I don’t want to leave the city. I really don’t. But I’m starting to fear that I may have no choice.

One day last September, I walked into a beautifully furnished reception area of a mid-town office. I was sent there by a recruiter for an interview. I walked up to the impossibly young receptionist and let her know who I was there to meet with. She directed me to the waiting area, which was directly in front of a conference room filled with even more impossibly young employees.  Ten minutes later, I was greeted by another young lady who informed me that the person with whom I was to meet would have to reschedule.  Apparently he was called into a last minute meeting and would not be able to meet with me that day – apologies all around – they would be in touch. Of course, I never heard from them again. So what could possibly have been the reason for their lack of follow through? Clearly my resume spoke to my qualifications. I was dressed in a suit. My hair was done. I was wearing make-up – something I apply lightly yet effectively. I have been told I pass for younger than my actual age. But,  that age is over 40, and the kids at that awesome new start up couldn’t have been over the age of 30. This may be sheer speculation, but I’m guessing they took one look at me, at the time 42, and decided to pass.

Their loss.

A couple of weeks later, while in the middle of an early autumn heat wave, I was sweating along in my car, running a few errands, when I received a call from a recruiter.  She had seen my resume and was floored by my experience. She quickly interviewed me over the phone and exclaimed that she MUST do a video chat with me THAT DAY because I sounded like an amazing candidate for the role she had available. I explained to her that I was in my car, running errands, and would be home within the hour (thus giving me time to get home from Brooklyn, and make myself presentable). She told me she wanted a more immediate conversation, as their office (which was in Connecticut, hence the need for a video chat and not an in-person interview, as would be the norm), was about to close,  and never mind the make-up and hair, she just wanted to face-time me along with her co-manager on the account.

I acquiesced to the interview and was immediately at ease. Sure the ladies on the other end were wearing make-up – their hair perfectly coifed in matronly fashion – but they were older. Judging by the sheer amount of eye-make up and poorly hidden wrinkles, I’d say A LOT older, than myself. Being that they were of a certain age, the wouldn’t judge me for being in my 40’s when they were so clearly pushing the 60, right? Wrong.

We had a lovely conversation which ended with them promising to forward my resume to their client.  Afterwards, I hung up, but they didn’t. While we were no longer seeing each other on the screen, I could hear every word they said. I wish I had thought to press “record.” I may have easily been able to sue if a court could have heard what they said.

There are some things in life I know I will forget. But what I heard from the other end was so heartbreaking to me, I actually remember every word.

Recruiter #1:      OMG She looks way older than her resume would make you believe

Recruiter #2:      Yeah, she definitely started her career earlier than the year 2000 (right, because 2000 was when I became an Executive Assistant – neither my time as a pension processor nor  as a make-up counter person at the Body Shop are relevant to my current job search).

Recruiter #1:      Yeah, but she’s not THAT old. She could’ve at least TRIED to put on some make up though. I mean seriously, who at that age doesn’t wear make-up when they leave the house? (Someone who doesn’t want to get your wrinkles, granny).

Recruiter #2:      It’s really too bad because she was perfect on paper, and the way she interviews, she’s very well-spoken, but she’s just too old.

Recruiter #1:      So sad, really.  She would’ve probably gotten the job if she were ten years younger. So, we agree, we’re not sending her resume to them (I’m assuming, them = the client).

Recruiter #2:     No, she can’t represent us to them. She’s too old. 

Me:        Excuse me ladies, I thought you should know, I can hear everything you’ve said. Despite my advanced age, I do know how to use an iPhone. Kindly hang up on your end. Thanks.

After a bit of scrambling, they finally figured out how to hang up. In case you are wondering, the name of the recruiting company is Merrit Staffing. I have avoided all of their postings, many for which I am not only qualified, but more than likely over-qualified, ever since. Sad, really, I could have been a great placement of theirs.

Recently, while on a temp assignment, at a company I won’t name, I watched as they criticized candidate after candidate vying for the role, admittedly I’d hoped they would have given me (although I realized early on, that wasn’t going to happen – even though everyone genuinely praised me, my work and my work ethic during my time there, I knew what my boss was looking for, and I certainly wasn’t it). All the candidates were pre-screened by the in-house recruiter. All qualified for the position. I knew who they were going to hire before even they did. I knew by her age, her perkiness, and her dress. No matter that her resume had her jumping from job to job every two years. No matter that she herself admitted she grew bored easily. She would be the perfect candidate. She’d fit right in with the group (of course, important – Honestly, I’m a social butterfly, but I can’t fake enthusiasm when certain things are just not that interesting to me – a fatal flaw, I’m afraid).  And she IS qualified for the position, of that I have no doubt. So, I have zero bitterness towards the hiring of this person. She got the job because she was their ideal candidate.

It is the treatment of those they rejected that killed me. There was a harsh rejection of one person in particular, that struck me as vile and made me lose a whole lot of respect for my former employer. She was an older lady. Extremely experienced and by all accounts very qualified for the position. She was wearing a wig. She was also wearing a lot of make- up. But she was well dressed, polite, friendly and well spoken. After she left, some of the comments coming out of the mouths of those who thought I couldn’t hear them, or that no one else in the office who had a conscience could hear them, were disgusting. Seriously, I had wanted so badly to work for them at one point. After that, I actually started looking for a job elsewhere.

Apparently ageism is everywhere. Even among those older than you (the above mentioned employer is my age – his co-interviewer is 11 years older than I am). People wonder why it has been so difficult for me to find a job.. well, my mom would say it’s my weight. But then again, my mother still thinks I’m in my 20s.. soo… But it’s not. I find a lot of very unhappy people in their mid 40’s to upper 50s who stay in jobs they hate because they know they won’t get hired anywhere else. It’s sad. Companies want the experience, and in the steadily improving economy, are even willing to pay for the experience. But they don’t want the age that comes along with the experience. This is not something I can understand. I’m nowhere near retirement age. I have a good 20-30 employable years left in me. And yet, all I can seem to find are temporary assignments, where despite all my hard work, all the accolades said work receives, I am still not given a permanent job. There is no way to sugar coat it. I can lose weight. But I can’t turn back time and become a 30 year old again. I’ve been heavy all my life. Heavier than I am right now, even, and have still managed to get a job. So yeah, it’s not my weight mom. I love you, but that is not the source of all that is currently wrong in life.

I’m just, apparently, old?

There really is no point to this post. I have no brilliant insights or advice or even anger to throw at you. It’s just me venting out frustrations that I can’t even add any humor to because it’s sad. And it’s scary. I’m a single, (widowed, something I don’t admit to readily to interviewers because that word makes me seem even older, I think).  I live alone. I live in New York City (yes, Staten Island IS a part of NYC!). I’m way too young for even ‘early’ retirement. Not to mention, any retirement savings I had, I went through after my husband passed away. Anything I managed to save after that, I went through the last time I was unemployed back in 2010. I have no clue what to do. I want to work. I am REALLY good at my job. Even the frat boy who didn’t hire me after I busted my ass working for him as a temp for 7 months told me that he would happily be a reference for me – I may not have been right for him, but he’d happily shove my old ass onto someone else, I guess.

So, anyone out there looking to hire a 43 year-old, chubby but super friendly and highly qualified Executive Assistant?   Just asking. Hey, I’ll even throw on some make-up!

Back in November of 2013, tired of trying to meet men the ‘old fashioned’ way, and even more exhausted of hearing my friends urging me to try any number of on-line dating sites on which their ‘sister’s friends roommate from college’ met the man of her dreams, I made the decision to try, once again, to dip my toes in the perilous pool of on-line dating.

Largely influencing this decision was having seen first hand, a good friend of mine, marry a man she herself had met on one of the many sites out there. She and I had shared our dating woes on many occasions and seeing her so happily say “I do,” to a genuinely wonderful man made me hopeful.

Having forayed once before, albeit briefly and half-heartedly, I decided this time I was going all in. I joined every site I could think of. I chose an opportune time, a month before holiday season, when even the paid sites were giving out nearly free (and in some cases, completely free), deals. I set up my profile, chose my photos and off I went.

The following observations are made from a feminine point of view, with the purist of intentions, directed at the men out there seeking to meet women on these sites. Admittedly, when I first started looking, I wasn’t sure what I was looking for, so was contacted by men looking for a variety of different types of ‘relationships.’ That being said, regardless of what I, or they, were looking for, I started being somewhat critical (and yes, skeptical), of what these guys were putting out there via their online profiles.

After a few conversations with some of my female friends who were going through the same process, I’ve come to the conclusion that some guys just need help.

Now, before I go any further, please understand, the ‘advice’ I’m about to give is solely from my own observations. I can’t speak for other women. Although, like I said, many friends with whom I’ve had this discussion seem to agree with me. Additionally, I’m sure the male perspective on what they’ve witnessed coming from the female side might be similar (I’m sure there are any number of women out there whose photo’s and info have left you guys in stitches). But this advice is for the guys…

Please understand, this is coming from a good place.  I am well aware that the female profiles you’re looking at can be just as bad if not worse. However, if you’re not getting the kind of attention you want, or, if you’re not getting any attention at all, here are some potential reasons, and, maybe some solutions. I’m not guaranteeing success, but, it might help.

Photos:

Online dating is akin to online shopping. Women love to shop. But we’re not buying anything that looks sketchy or doesn’t match the product description. I’m not saying we’re all shallow and want an Adonis. But, most of us do want something real.. and sane.. and at least recent..

Let me clarify:

Your picture

Female reaction
Eyes bulging – like Charles Manson Psycho
Mug shot ala Nick Nolte Alcoholic Psycho
Grainy picture from ten years ago What the hell’s he trying to hide ? And who the hell does he think he’s fooling?
Current picture does not match up with the age you’ve given Does he think we’re all morons? If that’s him now, he’s lived a ROUGH life.. I mean that shot makes him look AT LEAST 10 years older…
Shot of your six-pack abs, but you’re listed as looking for a “serious” relationship Same reaction YOU have to the half naked picture of some chick in her bikini, doing the kissy-duck face thing… If that’s the reaction you want, just say you’re looking for a hook-up and be done with it. No woman’s going to object to looking at your abs…. but really, again, don’t bullshit us.
Pictures of you hanging with your super hot girl ‘friends.’ Awww… poor baby is in the friend zone… pity party table for one – Next
Pictures of you with your mom Mama’s boy.. no thanks.. Next
Pictures of you at the gym Oh for fucks sake, what’s he trying to prove?
Pictures of you with your dog, your cat, your infant niece or nephew… Trying too hard to up the cute factor..

Here’s the deal. All of the above is crap. Just be you.  It should be enough for anyone who would be interested in you.  Pick pictures of who you are now.  Granted, if you are a psycho, alcoholic, mama’s boy with an inferiority complex, may the force be with you, my friend.

My advice would be to ask that really hot girl who has permanently put you in the “friend” zone to help you choose pictures that would make you attractive to other women. Chances are she knows all your best qualities and wants you to find someone who will want to be with you – if only so she could stop feeling so guilty for not wanting to be with you herself.

Your Profile – Honesty is the best policy

Look, I know guys like to think they have a general clue as to what a woman may or may not be looking for. But honestly, unless you’re going to consistently follow through, please don’t over indulge on the platitudes.

The point of your profile is to tell us who you are, not who you think we want to hear you are. You may be the best guy ever to walk the face of the planet. You may shit rainbows and fart roses. Hell, you may be a unicorn in man’s clothing. Awesome. But writing all that down in flowery prose hoping to get our panties all up in a bunch lining up to meet you is a bit disingenuous.  Also, most women – I’m not talking girls still living in a fantasy land where prince charming will rescue them and they all live happily ever after – realize, that there is no fantasy land, and that even after the prince rescues the princess, they still have to deal with one another’s crap.

When I first decided to re-enter the world of online dating, I was inundated with a few messages from guys spewing the hearts and flowers, one even told me I wouldn’t need to get pedicures any more because he’d kiss all my callouses away (umm yuk).

What I’m saying is – keep it simple, stupid.

Try to avoid condescending phrases like “I’ll treat you like a princess.” And for crying out loud, PLEASE stop reiterating what a “great guy” you are.  Most women believe in actions and not words. You really want to get our attention? Admit you’re flawed. No woman can realistically expect perfection, knowing full well how imperfect she herself is. Don’t make yourself out to be the guy you think all women dream of, because judging by what I’ve been reading, most guys have no clue. Having to dig through all the bullshit to figure out what part of your fantasy world really is you is hard. And, if you are really that perfect? That’s just intimidating. Tell us about who you really are, what you really want and what you really like. That kind of honesty might get us to respond. Figuring out what a great guy you are will shortly follow.

The first guy that really got a response from me, had, in his profile (and I’m paraphrasing here), “I’m not a creeper. Just a guy. Not sure how all this works, but thought I’d give it a shot.”

After all the lengthy, almost Shakespeare-meets-Keats type of prose I was reading, I found HIS profile refreshing (it also helped that his pictures were actually him, recent, and clearly not posing for effect…). The outright honesty blew me away.

So guys, please understand, most real women stopped believing in Prince Charming a long, long time ago. What we’re looking for is a real man. We don’t want platitudes. We don’t need promises. We just want you.

First Contact:

Okay,  your profile is complete… You’ve answered a bunch of benign questions regarding your preferences in romance, music, sports, food, etc and the website directs you to a few profiles of women they believe you’d match up well with. Here’s what you should, and shouldn’t do:

DO:

READ THE PROFILES! Seriously, you can find out a lot by reading one paragraph. For instance, what she’s looking for.. you know.. if she’s looking for a serious relationship, and you aren’t – move on. If she’s looking for a hook-up and you want to meet the future mother of your children – move the hell on.

Additionally, reading her profile will clue you in to some of her interests. This knowledge would be of infinite assistance in getting her to actually converse with you should you decide to make contact.  That guy I mentioned before, yeah, his first message read: “So, a music snob, how so?” This prompted a response from me way more enthusiastically than the typical “Hey there,” or my FAVORITE first text, “Hey princess, what’s up?” Seriously? Do I FUCKING LOOK LIKE A GIRL WHO WANTS TO BE ADDRESSED AS “PRINCESS”?!!

Anyway, so yeah, read the profiles.

DON’T:

Glance at the pictures and write any versions of the following:

“Yo baby what’s up”

“Hey princess, what’s up”

“Hey sexy, wanna (insert sexual act of your choice)”

In all honesty, I’ve often wondered if any version of the above ever works and what kind of women respond to that kind of ish.

I met my current boyfriend on one of the sites. He started with a very, almost shy, “hello,” and not much else. It was direct, not condescending, or insulting, or vulgar. The fact that his profile had normal pictures along with a brief but interesting bio, sparked my interest enough to get a responding “hello.” Once we started chatting, we never stopped. He had obviously read my profile and asked me questions; I did the same; and once we met in person.. well.. that’s a different story, but suffice it to say, one year later and we’re still together, so clearly, I’m coming from a place of SOME knowledge here.

What I’m trying to say is, again, no need to be an exceptional wordsmith here, a simple “hello,” will often do the trick. Of course, if you are trying to separate yourself from the hundreds of other guys in the herd, you can always reference the lady’s profile in your first message. Believe me, that IS refreshing (PS: “Hello, you’re very pretty.” – Doesn’t count as referencing the profile.. ).

Listen, I get it. It’s a crowded field out there. It’s tempting to try the most outrageous tactics in an effort to get noticed. But it probably won’t – at least not in the way you’d like. Truly, most women (and I’m sure men) are expecting there to be some deceptive tactics involved in most on-line dating profiles. In my estimation, most folks do this to get a foot in the door. I can understand that. The problem is that when the truth comes out, as it inevitably does, you wind up shooting yourself in that proverbial foot.

So just be you. Truly. That alone would be shocking enough to get the attention you’re looking for. Try it. What have you got to lose?

Love is Love

On Friday, June 26th, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the Constitution guarantees same-sex couples wishing to marry the same rights as heterosexual couples in all 50 states. Thus, giving basic civil rights to live and die with the person one loves, and all the legal benefits that come along with such a union to a group of people who should have had those rights all along. While the majority of the country rejoiced in this step forward to making all Americans truly equal, there were some who saw this as the end of the world… because.. Honestly, I can’t tell you why, but some of the things that I read in my news feed had me simultaneously laughing at the sheer ridiculousness of the things people will convince themselves to believe (“What about straight pride” – Really? OMG), while shaking my head in disbelief at the “God’s going to punish us for this,” crew.

Okay, so, let’s start with an easy one – God. Yep – easy as reading the bible – you know, that book ya’ll seem to think is all we need to live by? Remember Noah? Remember the promise God made to Noah after that huge storm? For all of you who believe that the Bible is the sole truth and that science and climate change and all that other stuff is just plain old malarkey perpetrated by us disbelievers (PS: I’m actually a believer, just not in the bible as historical text), here’s what God promised:

Genesis 8:21 “The LORD said, “I will never again curse the ground on account of man, for the intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth; and I will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done.”

So, hurricanes, storms, tornados, etc , have nothing to do with us sinning against God’s will, rather, us sinning against the planet, but I digress… My point is, God’s not sending a hurricane to drown out all us sinners who believe in the sanctity of love.

Then there are those who believe that this will destroy the institution of marriage. It won’t. Marriage was around long before religion took it on as an institution. It was around long before religion. Actually, if you really want to go by the bible for the history of marriage, marriage was pretty much no more than a financial (read: legal), institution from all the way back to Adam and Eve. Oh, also, for those who are running around screaming that the SCOTUS decision will lead to polygamy – well, just an FYI: most marriages in the bible were polygamous… So, you might want to rethink that argument.

To this day, regardless of where you are married, or who officiates, or if there even is someone officiating, in order for your marriage to be recognized legally, you must first obtain a marriage certificate from the courts. Put it this way, you can be married by the Pope, if you don’t have a legal certificate; you and your spouse have no legal marital rights. The SCOTUS decision, simply put, stated that all couples, regardless of sexual orientation, or gender, have equal rights under the law.

Please explain to me how that, in any way, diminishes YOUR heterosexual marriage?

And then there’s my favorite piece of idiocy – “Straight Pride.”

As a straight woman, I have to say, I have NEVER felt any prejudice for being straight. No one has ever beaten me up, made me feel like less than a human or teased me because, as a female of the species, I liked the males of the species. I never had to hide who I was because society always accepted me for who I am. When my husband and I got married, no one tried to prevent us from getting a certificate of marriage. When he fell ill, no one questioned the validity of my right, as his spouse, to make decisions on his behalf, or my rights, as his spouse to what benefits he may have left behind when he passed. Life as a straight person is easy in this country, when it comes to legality of your existence, and your rights. Straight people, straight white people in particular, haven’t had to fight for anything. It’s just accepted that you will get a marriage certificate if you want to get married. And if you get divorced, well, that’s over 50% of the population, so, no biggie, you can just get married again.

So, how can anyone claim that same sex marriage will ruin the institution of marriage? Haven’t straight folks done that already? How many people do you know who have been married and divorced multiple times? Please, explain to me how two people who love one another, obtaining the legal rights of marriage, has any bearing on the validity of your second or third go at ‘true love?’ And to those folks married for 20+ years, congrats – you, might actually deserve a parade of your own. One, in which, I hope all couples who have managed to stay together for that long can take part.

I understand that people have their own very much ingrained beliefs, and I can respect that. What I cannot respect is anyone trying to force those beliefs on anyone else. This country is made up of so many different people, why would anyone want to withhold basic human rights from two consenting adults who want to spend their lives together – for better or for worse? It makes no sense. They’re not doing anything wrong, not in the eyes of anyone who isn’t a homophobic bigot, anyway. So what’s the problem? How is anyone else’s relationship affecting yours?

Here’s a little advice. Forget other couples and their relationship statuses, and worry about your own. If you think that someone else’s marriage is affecting yours? You clearly have marital issues. If you REALLY believe that you deserve a pat on the back for being in a heterosexual marriage, then clearly you need some more attention from your significant other – again, check your own marriage.

If your issue is based on religion, again, I respect that, but the decision made on June 26th has nothing to do with religion, and everything to do with the law.

All that SCOTUS did was reiterate a legal fact that is written on the facades of many a courthouse, including the Supreme Court; “everyone is equal under the law.” And there is nothing wrong with that.

“Could I have been, anyone
other than me?”

-Dave Matthews Band – Dancing Nancies

It has occurred to me that sometimes, it really isn’t me – It really IS them. I say this because, well, most of my adult life, as a good friend recently pointed out, I’ve blamed myself for every rejection, every failed relationship or friendship and just about every misunderstanding I’ve ever had with another person.

The truth is, it isn’t always me who is to blame. Despite my hyper-awareness of how flawed I am, sometimes, it really IS them.

The truth is, I am exactly who I say I am. If I tell you I care about you, I genuinely do. If I make a promise, I will be damned if I don’t do my best to keep it (I’m not perfect, I know, but I sure as hell try to follow through). I don’t suffer fools lightly and I am ridiculously tired of being taken for granted by idiots who are so jaded they can’t recognize the genuine article when they see it.

I am flawed – very much so. I am an impatient woman with daddy issues and a chunk of self-esteem problems. Ultimately though, I really DO like myself and I refuse to suffer through yet another situation where I have to convince anyone how much of a privilege it really is to know me and to have me actually want to know them.

I once told someone that I hate being called ‘sweet.’  Yeah, I’m a nice person – but in this jaded society we live in, the word ‘sweet’ is often a term used, condescendingly, to mean ‘naïve.’ And my biggest fear is that sometimes, I am.

I say I am naïve, because I foolishly believe that by being myself, not some made up persona, but actually ME, that folks I relate to would show me the same courtesy.

See? Naïve.

My conscious brain knows that can’t be the case, but I am stupidly hopeful. And that may be my biggest flaw of all.

I want to believe the best in people. Sometimes, so much so, that I will convince myself they are worthy of my trust or my company, when I really know better. I’ve tried, in the past, to be more jaded. I mean, I’m a born and bred New Yorker, right? I SHOULD be jaded, mistrusting, and the farthest thing from ‘sweet.’

But the truth is, I don’t want to be some jaded, mistrusting individual always looking suspiciously at people trying to figure out what they want from me or constantly trying gauge exactly what emotional weapon they’re going to use to figuratively stab me with. I LIKE believing the best in people. I feel as though maybe by my believing, I am challenging them to be their best. Sometimes I fail. And while the failure hurts,  I refuse to continue to blame myself for the failures anymore because on those rare occasions when I DO succeed, I end up with some amazing people in my life. Besides, as I’ve realized, the failure isn’t mine. It isn’t a failure to offer friendship. The failure lies with the person too selfish or too full of self-loathing and self-pity to recognize a good thing when it’s right in front of them.

I often say I’m blessed. True, I’m still unemployed. Times are tough. I’m about to turn 40 and have no clue what is going to happen to me if I don’t find something soon (okay, granted, I DID just interview for my dream job, so still keeping my fingers crossed on that), but I AM blessed. I have amazing people in my life, and I think, that maybe, it’s my ‘flaws’ that brought these people to me in the first place. My family is stuck with me – My friends CHOOSE to be. That is a huge distinction. I am honored to have these people in my life.

I genuinely feel, now, that the folks who I reach out to who reject me are the ones missing out. I’m not perfect, but I am pretty damned amazing and worthy of knowing. If they are too busy navel gazing to see what’s being offered them by me, then they’re just not worth my time, tears or effort.

I stole a quote off a friend’s Face Book page earlier today that really sums up what I’ve been feeling and ultimately what led to this little pat on the back I’m giving myself here:

“You either like me or you don’t. It took me twenty-something years to learn how to love myself, I don’t have that kind of time to convince somebody else” – Daniel Franzese

 (Thank you again: Sarah N. Smith for posting this quote – you really don’t know how perfect your timing was.)

Quick to judge, quick to anger

Slow to Understand

Ignorance and prejudice

And Fear walk hand in hand..

-Rush – Witch Hunt

The Casey Anthony trial and subsequent verdict sparked quite a bit of emotional outrage as is evidenced by many of the posts I’ve seen both in my Twitter and Facebook feeds. “How on earth could a woman that even her own family suspected of murdering her innocent child be set free?” “Is our justice system truly that messed up? ” “How blind IS lady justice after all??” ” And the jury?? How dumb are they? They should be shunned, nay, FLAYED. Hell kill them all!”

This may be difficult for some folks to stomach, but the cold hard fact is, the verdict was exactly what it should have been based on the evidence, or lack there of, as was presented by the prosecution.

Speculation, circumstantial evidence and hearsay are not enough to convict anyone in this country, and unfortunately, that is all that prosecutors had to work with.  The fact is, they didn’t have any proof whatsoever that Caylee was murdered, let alone who did it. All they had was a whole lot of speculation, circumstantial evidence, public outrage and a media looking for a bloody headline to deliver to their insatiable audience.

Anyone who sits on a jury cannot be swayed by public demand or even their own personal emotional reactions to the evidence and testimony. Jurors have to be objective. The only thing the prosecution could prove, beyond a reasonable  doubt, was that Caylee Anthony was dead and  that Casey Anthony lied to the police.

Anyone remember elementary school history class – specifically, The Salem Witch trials?? Anyone?? Back in those days you didn’t need proof to have someone burned at the stake. All you need was an accuser. And if you think something like that can’t happen in modern times… try the McCarthy era. Anyone even remotely suspected of being a communist back then was put on trial and more often than not, considered guilty before they could plead their case.

The law specifically states that a person charged with a capital crime, such as murder, must be proven guilty – BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT.  It is the burden of the prosecution to provide the proof. In the case of Casey Anthony, they didn’t. The only proof they had was that a child was dead, and the victim’s mother didn’t seem to care.

The fact that Casey Anthony was out partying and getting tattooed may stand to prove her to be a heartless bitch. What it doesn’t prove is that she had any hand in her daughter’s death.  And while everyone who knows Casey Anthony was all but screaming from the rooftops that she was a pathological liar who didn’t give a shit about her child, not a one of them could claim to witness her abusing her child, let alone murdering her.

The fact that Casey Anthony’s brother, mother and father all seemed to think she did it doesn’t matter. The fact that the whole damned country seems to think she did it, doesn’t matter. What matters is that there was no proof a murder was committed, no time of death and not one witness to corroborate any of the prosecution’s theories.  What matters is, that in the eyes of the jury, there were two, if not three, other people with access to that child who could have committed the crime, if indeed it was a crime and not an accident as was presented by the defense.

Now,  you may ask, what kind of a shitty system do we have that would allow an accused child killer go free? Well, actually, we all should be grateful for the system we have. The system was created to protect those falsely accused. And while it isn’t perfect, and does allow for genuine criminals to occasionally walk free, it is certainly preferable to a system where there is no burden placed on the prosecution to prove the accused guilty at all.

Take for example the case of Amanda Knox, a 24 year old American girl, studying in Italy, accused, and despite any evidence, in fact despite proof that she wasn’t involved at all, convicted of murdering her roommate Meredith Kercher.  The facts of the case are dizzying. There was no proof that Ms. Knox was anywhere near the scene of the crime when it took place. As a matter of fact, she had an alibi. She was at her boyfriend’s apartment – (computer activity proved that at least one of them was definitely at his apartement any case, and yet they were both convicted).  Additionally, the actual perpetrator of the murder, a petty thief named Rudy Guede, whose footprints, fingerprints and DNA were all over the crime scene,  was also convicted of the crime.

The only proof of Ms. Knox’s involvement was a coerced confession, and a statement by  Mr. Guede claiming Ms. Knox was present at the scene. A statement, mind you, retrieved during his appeal process where upon, thanks to his implication of Ms. Knox, his original sentence of 30 years was knocked down to 16.  Add to that the fact that the prosecutor in the case is a headline grabbing attention whore who sees ‘Satan’s influence’ as a valid means of  prosecutorial evidence and a system that would permit all kinds of speculation and circumstantial evidence be presented at trial where the jury is permitted to talk among themselves throughout the proceedings and pay no attention to what is going on in front of them (a system, which, at present is being itself investigated) , and you have to thank your lucky stars you don’t live in a country with a justice system that throws out any means of sane reflection and inspection and gives way to public outcry and speculation.

Did Casey Anthony kill her daughter? We may never know for sure. I know, I know, everyone thinks she did it. Hell, folks who’ve never met anyone involved think they know the answer. But the truth is, it’s all speculation fueled by a media that loves to sensationalize everything for ratings.

Regardless, you cannot blame the jury for doing its job just because you don’t agree with the verdict. You can’t even blame the prosecution. They did the best with the evidence they had. The verdict cannot be over turned, and Casey  Anthony can never be tried for this murder again should new evidence be found to prove that Caylee was indeed murdered (Double Jeopardy).

The best we can do is pray for the soul of a little girl who was taken too soon and for justice for her to come from a higher place. Believe me, no matter how big a bitch anyone thinks Casey Anthony is, Karma is way worse. If she did indeed have any part in the death of her daughter, she’ll pay one way or another. (Put it this way, OJ, the poster child for getting away with murder,  is in jail for committing a separate crime, and anyone who was involved in his defense during his murder trial, is now dead).

Ultimately, blaming the judicial system or the jurors will not serve anyone. As a matter of fact, the justice system actually worked in this case and the jurors were not wrong in their final verdict. Our justice system may have some flaws, but it does work more often than not. I personally am grateful to live in a country where, at least in the courtroom, a person is still considered ‘innocent until proven guilty,’ rather than the other way around and where a person cannot be convicted of a crime, whether they are or aren’t guilty, based soley on conjecture and without solid proof.

More about the Amanda Knox case: http://bit.ly/mPRsYX

You don’t have to worry

All your worried days are gone

This will be our year,

Took a long time to come

-The Zombies, “This Will Be Our Year”

I’ve seen a whole lot of “2010 sucked, bring on 2011” status’ on Facebook, Twitter, etal, and have realized, that despite my initial desire to say “hells yeah!” I honestly can’t complain. I mean, in comparison to 2008 and 2009, where combined, I think I attended something in the realm of 13 or 14 funerals, one of them being my husband’s, I have to say, 2010 wasn’t so bad.  All I really lost in 2010 was a job , 40 pounds and a friendship that clearly wasn’t real anyway.

In 2010, my sister got married to a wonderful man, gaining me a brother; My cousin had a baby girl, a little angel really, who fills my heart with nothing but love whenever I see her smile; A man I love dearly beat the shit out of cancer and is ending the year, bald, but in remission (I’m going to say that his E-Mail relaying that news to me is my favorite moment of 2010); One of my closest friends had a baby as well, her second miracle in as many years as she wasn’t sure she’d ever have kids;  I had another cousin that got married too – I’d say any year where you go to more weddings than funerals is a good one;  I reconnected with some old friends I had lost touch with; Became closer with some new friends who I had just started to get to know at the end of the previous year; Started putting myself back out there and enjoying life the best way anyone can, and having many wild adventures; Gone to more concerts and musical events than I can possibly remember all at once;  I’ve been blessed by being surrounded by wonderful people on a regular basis and look forward to more of that in the coming year.

In 2010 I realized, that indeed, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and I’m one step from reaching it.

For the first time in what feels like years, I am myself again. I missed this bitch staring back at me in the mirror, she’s pretty damned awesome. And while I can’t say that I totally hated 2010, it will go down as the year I finally bounced back. I can only say, that it’s nice to be welcoming a new year feeling this positive and whole again. I haven’t felt this way in so long, it almost feels like an out of body experience. The truth is, I’m leaving behind a year that literally has put me in a position to where I feel that not only is anything possible, it is entirely probable – Instead of kicking 2010 to the curb in disgust, I’m fondly waving goodbye as I greet the New Year with this thought in mind:

What you got 2011??! Bring it! I’m ready!

Happy New Year everyone!! See you all in 2011!!