women to women: a puzzle for the ages

Godey-april-1861As I begin this post it has no real form yet.  A quasi flowing stream of consciousness. I figure by the end of the post the title will find me.

I have written many times before about my transition from being a Main Liner to a Chester County gal. And I am going to do it again. So if you don’t want to hear anymore about this or don’t like a flowing stream of consciousness, turn away from the blog now and visit again tomorrow.

Yesterday my friend Alene wrote about in essence adolescence and David Bowie.  She was part of a group of girls I was and am to this day still friends with.  Our 13 and 14 year old selves were quite different from a lot of our classmates at the time. And wow what we were subjected to from a pack of mean girls before they called them mean girls.

godeycovers-featured-270x290I have written about those girls from back in the day before.  And middle age hasn’t changed or softened a lot of them, and at the end of the day they are still just stuck in the 7th grade hallways with their tight jeans, bad perms and crimping irons…sneaking cigarettes and oh yes stumbling in their Candies.

We  (Alene and I) had a bit of a conversation about what she had written on her blog and in part she said

It’s interesting to me that you got a chance to witness what became of those people, whom I have long since forgotten.” I haven’t forgotten how it felt, though. It is sad. Now people talk openly about bullying behavior in the schools and the psychological effects on kids, but it seems to be universal and timeless.”

I had told her that on some level I felt sorry for these people. I actually do.

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These girls affected all of us in different ways but a similarity my friends and I share to this day is those silly girls made us realize what we don’t want in friends. For years after it also affected how I trusted or accepted people, which translated more simply is in a lot of cases I didn’t trust, I didn’t accept.

I worked to change that.  Sometimes I still work at it.

Take my moving to Chester County.  Moving and starting a new life no matter how exciting is very different when you’re an adult and middle-aged woman versus young and single. And this move in particular made me feel once again like that uncertain 12 year old who was thrust into a new and rather large school and area without much in the way of life skills to make the transition easy.

Maybe that sounds silly, but when I first moved to Chester County it is how I felt. Excited to be here yet so uncertain.

I have been lucky with this move that over the first years here I have discovered that many people I was friends with for years and years live not too far from me, and I have met a lot of really nice and genuine an amazing new people.14583203070_afc32dff39_o

But (there is always a but isn’t there?)….some people you take a chance on are just fated to disappoint.  And I have met some disappointing individuals.  Not too many, but a few.

No matter what age you are, you will always meet people who will just be uncomfortable because they can’t fit you into one of their boxes of pre-conceived notions.

But today I was faced with a situation that I not only did not know where to go with but definitely at first hurt then ultimately offended me.  Not disappointed.  Disappointed would have been on the short list of emotions when I was 12 but not now. I was emphatically offended.

Someone I had met over the last year basically told me today we couldn’t be friends because I was…wait for it….a blogger.

Initially I had reached out to her after we met as many of us do today, via social media. Right or wrong it is how we do a lot of our modern connecting. (Maybe we should bring back the calling card?)  But anyway.. I never got anything back. So I wondered if I had said or done something. I wasn’t sure what because this isn’t someone I run into (for example) every time I go to the grocery store. So I sent her a note. And what I got back basically made me just sort of sit back momentarily stunned:

 

Sorry if I offended you. Not my intention. But when I thought about giving a blogger access to my “personal” life, I got concerned…..I thought we got along well, as a public “voice,” you are in a different category.

 

O.k. so right now a certain group of equally disappointing “grown ups” some of whom reside in West Vincent are cheering at this post. Why? Because I have never been a human being to them, just a target to attempt to pummel into the ground. (But I digress.)

1206204introI do not think this woman intended to be deliberately hurtful. But there is no accounting for the accidental ignorance in human beings, especially women.  It was hurtful but mostly it was simply outrageously offensive to hear. I had thought I had made an initial friend connection with this person. But apparently I merely (I guess) had a use for a brief period of time?

But to say essentially you can’t be friends with me because I write?  Wow so very Puritan New England. Is being a blogger like wearing a proverbial scarlet letter or being branded a witch?

I have blogged for I would say about 15 years at this point.  When I first started my blogging was 100% based in political activism. That was deliberate. I had discovered I had a few opinions on politics and things like eminent domain for private gain.

So 15 years ago I would have said o.k. I can understand the fear of knowing a blogger because well blogging was new. But today, in 2016? It’s more like who doesn’t have a blog or online journal?  Lordy people there is even a Friendship Blog  – seriously – it is written by a published off the Internet PhD named Irene S. Levine about friendships. The author welcomes you to her site thusly:

Friendships are among the most complex but meaningful relationships in our lives. These unique bonds often run deeper than family ties, and sometimes last longer than our relationships with spouses or lovers. Yet there are few agreed-upon ground rules or roadmaps…..Dramatic changes in the ways women live, work and communicate have made navigating the terrain of female friendships even more daunting. This website aims to help readers navigate the awkward misunderstandings and disappointments—as well as the long silences and distance—that often crops up among friends.

I read this website once in a while because it’s interesting and not sugary sweetly and fakely cloying.

I was surfing the site just now looking for pearls of wisdom about making new friends after a certain age and I found this post on this site by a blogger (shock and horrors) named Cathy Chester who writes on her own site called “An Empowered Spirit” :

First-Person: Friendship lessons after 50

……Friendships have always been an important part of my life. I tend to them like a cat to her kittens, nurturing each one as best as I can….

Over the years I’ve tried to learn the difference between friends and acquaintances. I’ve been bruised a few times because I’m sensitive and sentimental, and always try to see the best in people.

During adolescence everyone experiences disappointment of one kind or another. When you are an adult, does this continue to happen?

The difference between friends and acquaintances is this: Friends stand by you through good times and bad. Acquaintances keep you at an arms length, remaining casually friendly at a safe distance.

In my fifties, I am trying to better understand human nature, to learn more about people and why they act and behave the way they do….We all think friendships get easier during midlife, and in some ways they do. We are more self-assured, and less likely to tolerate bad behavior. Yet in other ways we are striving to find ourselves….

There may be people you meet and there’s an instant connection. You form a close bond, and if you’re lucky it lasts a lifetime. Hold on tight; this is worth nurturing.

Tend to them. It’s worth the effort.

There are those you meet for a time and, when life moves on, so do they….

It’s time to let go and move on.

There are those you meet, and for some unknown reason they never feel a connection to you……The situation will never change.

Move on. It was never meant to be….

I am no authority on friendship. I am not a relationship expert, nor am I perfect in any way. But I know what I know from years of trying to be all things to all people as a child. As an adult, and after many disappointments, I’ve become more protective of my heart. And I’ve become truer to myself.

I love my friends, I’ve let go of past ones, and I thoroughly enjoy my new ones.

 

O.k. wow. Talk about someone just sort of reaching me where I am feeling today. I am going to pay more attention to An Empowered Spirit and Cathy Chester.

It’s funny but when this crap happens in life, you feel like you are experiencing it all alone.  But thanks to my actual friends and other bloggers in my age group no less I can put this into perspective. And jettison what happened to the invisible list  yet lengthy list of life experience.godey9-1861

But the whole thing about you can’t be friends with a blogger? What is that about? Blogging is something I do, it has never defined who I am. It’s a creative outlet for my voice, my writing, my photography.

And somehow I don’t think that is a bad thing. For the most part, I am happy to walk at the beat of my own drummer.  Now sometimes I doubt all that and wish I could be more like a lot of women my age.  Until I don’t.  Today was one of those times.  I realized the…well limitations of being limited in perspective.

Am I angry? No, but offended, yes.  It will pass and writing about it helps it dissipate in a game of mental catch and release.

In an era when women are corporate leaders and heads of state what does it do to the sisterhood metaphorically when you tell someone you really can’t be friends with them because they are a blogger? Oy vey.   I guess to some blogging is like a communicable disease. That is kind of funny if you think about it. Or sad.

Oh well!

Live and learn and let go. (And my post title just came to me as I predicted it would!)

Thanks for stopping by.

 

Been down one time
Been down two times
I’m never going back again

You don’t know what it means to win
Come down and see me again

~ Fleetwood Mac

 

P.S. If you want to read a really funny blog post  check out  What Not to Wear After Age 50: The Final Say by Michelle Combs.

Godey-1880

 

 

carpe diem west vincent residents

Keep-Calm-and-Vote-Full-sizeWest Vincent residents your township is at a crucial juncture. No other way to put it.

Do I live in West Vincent? No. Would I have considered living in West Vincent ever? The answer is yes, until the failed eminent domain for private gain attempt against the horse show. West Vincent has a lot of beauty to it, but some of the residents provide a lot of ugliness which is indeed a shame.

No municipality is perfect and neither are politicians. But there is a big difference in basic human frailties, and politicians who inspire people to do harm to others. A candidate who so inspires is not whom anyone should want even for trash collector or dog catcher.

Ken Miller has had decades plural as a supervisor. Maybe when he started out he had the township best interests at heart but year after year, that path has muddied to the dead end of …..Ken Miller is for Ken Miller.

He inspires individuals to hurt others. You never hear from HIM, you only hear from THEM.   They go out on their mission and attack anyone and everyone who gets in his and their way.  I know as they have tried it with me (and still are). Unfortunately for them I see them for what they are: mean, petty, angry gossips, and somewhat silly.

Astoundingly it has been reported that a few of them apparently made a trip to the Daily Local to try to place an article about how their candidate is being maligned? Seriously? While they harass people inside West Vincent and outside of  West Vincent, vandalize private property, steal lawn signs like 12 year olds, and try to put people out of business for having the unbelievable (to them) gall of wanting better government representation?

Ken Miller’s minions have spent thousands and thousands of dollars to try to keep him in office. Who has what on whom? We may never know, but they definitely have a stake in the game, wouldn’t you say?

Like attracts like, and people who are mean as spit with slavish devotion to a local politician? Come on now, how much more obvious can you get?

Ken Miller is a great example of why there should be term limits in local government. Fresh faces and reasonable ideals are not a bad thing. West Vincent desperately needs more of that.  If he had only been in office one term, well hey, a second term is reasonable. But now it is more like Tammany Hall than a township, and that is not good.

Then there is the undisputable fact that Mr. Miller is not well, shall we say, fiscally responsible? So much about his finances are on the public record and that isn’t made up is it? And West Vincent pays his benefits, a retirement plan, and a roadmaster’s salary as well, correct?  Wouldn’t you like a supervisor who is just a supervisor and not looking to make a buck constantly off the hardworking backs of the taxpayer?

And no matter what political persuasion you are, don’t you want someone more fiscally responsible? And wouldn’t you like better roads?

Your township gets carved up by development more every year. Maybe, if developers weren’t so comfortable with a long entrenched supervisor, you might stand a chance for a little more balance?

vote

His supporters like to tell you he’s fabulous for the environment and well can it be said  that the only organic thing about him might be the manure his cows produce? They talk about the Sierra Club, but as everyone knows, the Sierra Club endorsements are not so hard to get, are they? Wink wink here’s a donation, endorse my buddy, right? Environmental  non-profits that don’t endorse are the ones who actually do great things for communities.

And that Sierra Club endorsement labels him a Republican candidate seeking re-election. He is in fact the Democratic candidate because he was written in. That was the only way he could stay on the ballot after the spring primary.

I believe in political balance, but registered Democrats in West Vincent? Hello? You aren’t going to get a real Democrat in office who shares your ideals and values if you vote for him. He hasn’t changed his political party affiliation, so basically Miller is simply practicing the politics of opportunism. That doesn’t work so well in Washington, D.C. so why would you want in locally?

vote_3On Election Day I hope all of you will vote for Mike Schneider. He will serve you well if you do.

Change is hard. I get that. And people have gotten beaten down over the years by this current regime. But look at it this way, if our forefathers could cross a great ocean to start a new country and escape political and religious tyranny, you can retire Ken Miller on Election Day.

It’s that simple.

Stop the anger. Stop the tyranny. Stop the politics of opportunism and favoritism. Stop the mean people. Retire Ken Miller.

Carpe diem and God speed.

someone a little testy at devon horse show?

This  circulated briefly . Seriously? Wowza. Still so threatened by historians and preservationists? And still foaming at the mouth over a historical marker that if DHCF collectively removed their heads from their posteriors should be thrilled with that, right?

Apparently the only people in Chester County more dumb that West Vincent Ken Miller “operatives” are the folks from Devon Horse Show.  I was told that this appeared for a small window of time on the website and apparently it was actually a letter that went out on Wednesday to all the members of the DHCF Inc. BOD’s and the Foundation? Really???

And did they think this hot potato wasn’t going to make the rounds privately?  Wow they need to be schooled by teenagers on chat programs and social media, or bloggers.

Oopsies. (And now for a resounding chorus of deny, deny, deny….only they sent it, didn’t they?)

What a disgrace and mess this current regime continues to make of a proud tradition.  I am so terribly sad for Devon. These people just don’t get it.

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devon nonsense redacted 10.16.15a

election season cowards in west vincent

 

Vandalism? Really?

Come on now all you fine folks of West Vincent Township Chester County, you can’t have it both ways. You can’t lather and fluff up the fighting feathers at me demanding I stop blogging about the sordid underbelly of West Vincent Township when you as adults vandalize private property and send out harassing emails from  johnsmith@yahoo.com like they can’t be traced and you can’t be found.

 

You can be found, West Vincent isn’t such a big place. What will you all do when you are unveiled? How will you explain it to the people you have been shoving phony baloney horse manure at for years?

I know the twisted psychology and reasoning and it doesn’t wash. Vandalism and harassing emails are against the law.

To the other residents of West Vincent: this is why you need to retire Supervisor Roadmaster Farmer KenOcrat Miller. Any individuals who would do THIS to keep some lower level life form of the lowest tier local yokel politician in office is yet another  valid reason why the tyranny and dictatorship need to come to an end. This isn’t medieval Europe, it is the 21st century. We live in Chester County, Pennsylvania and wow isn’t this why Quakers and others settled here in the first place? To escape mob mentality and behavior such as this?

It should not be acceptable  to anyone that your friends, fellow residents, and neighbors should  be subjected to cowardly acts of petty vandalism and other harassment.

Vote to end this behavior.

 Vote Miller OUT of office. 

Retire him, and you remove their power. It’s that simple.

You know it wouldn’t take much to visit every hardware or home improvement store in the area asking who had bought spray paint recently. Most of the stores keep track of who buys spray paint because of vandalism. 

  

political complacency

 

Tammany Hall’s Boss Tweed ruled 19th Century New York City with an iron political fist.  He is fascinating to read about, but eventually got caught up in his own web and died in prison. He wielded crazy political power and corruption. He had many minions to do his bidding.

It took courage in 19th century New York City to bring down Boss Tweed. People feared him. He was a petty tyrant and for a while New York City was his dictatorship.

Boss Tweeds have existed throughout history. Different countries, centuries, same M.O. Boss Tweeds operate on a fear based system.  They still exist today. They exist because we are politically complacent and allow them to exist. 

 Election season is about a month away. Throughout Pennsylvania there will be local and county elections.

The result depends on the voters. There is plenty of whining and whispering behind hands but do all of you have the courage to put some career politicans out to pasture?

The full court press of political fairy tales begins now. In local politics, it’s not fancy commercials, their little legions of volunteers will fan out and visit the locals. Over and over they will tell you their Boss Tweed is a paragon of virtue and has slayed more dragons than St. George.  You know, The Tall Tales of Election Season.

But have they? Or is it all a big illusion and they have instead profited from the naïveté of their constituents ? 

Who really loses when Boss Tweeds are voted out of office? The answer is no one but those who profited in some way from their association with the particular Boss.

Now is when you will hear how new faces are “bad” and you need to hold the course. Hold the course for whom exactly? Ah yes, the particular Boss Tweed and their friends. 

You are ok as long as you vote “how you are told”. Why? Because there is no place for individuality with pack mentality, is there?

And the pack can make your life a living hell, can’t they? But the thing is this: you can take away their power. How? Vote their Boss Tweed out of office.

So now is the time wherever you live. Step out of the shadows of political complacency and vote Boss Tweeds out of office. If you don’t you do lose one thing: your right to complain. 

In each of you is the power to enact change to better your community. You just have to vote. 

Thanks for stopping by.