the new feminism or revisiting old issues?

I don’t know if any of you are watching the HBO/MAX series on the life of Julia Child called “Julia”. I have always been a fan of the French Chef, and I love to cook and I have a bunch of her cookbooks so I really enjoy the show, which began before I was even born. I also enjoy the show and the way that it has blended the era in which she started in TV with the world around them.

In one of the episodes Julia Child has an encounter with Betty Friedan. My research indicates this encounter never actually happened. But another article I read said that the show was perhaps exploring Julia’s brand of feminism versus Betty’s. And that made me think of how do we define feminists and feminism today? The show makes valid points, it also makes you ponder sometimes why as women we are our own sex’s worst enemies.

When I look back on life, you naturally start when we were growing up. Especially if you grew up in an area like the Main Line, which isn’t necessarily the real world. Graduating high school in 1981 meant sure we were being groomed to have the big female careers, but conversely we were also still being groomed to be lovely hostesses in our husbands’ homes. And no one told us or showed which choice was the right choice for us as individuals.

My career was not some giant six-figure career with fancy cars and penthouse apartments. I think that was harder on my mother for a lot of years as opposed to me. Just like it was hard on her when I was single, and sometimes she made me feel like that was a huge flaw in me as a human being. I liked what I did. Never wanted to just be with a partner or date, or even marry just so I could say I did that. I wanted it to be right.

But what I discovered when I got what should have been a career dream job is I didn’t really like it as much as the other things I had done all the other years. But it was an accomplishment. I will note that I was definitely deserving of a six-figure salary for a lot of those years, and I honestly never attained it. However, you know what? That was fine. I wasn’t a millionaire but I had enough money to take care of myself most of the time, and sometimes it was tight and I managed. And the truth of the matter is, employers are cheap. The key to their particular brand of success is not making you wealthy, but making them wealthy. Just another version of plantation mentality.

I have also always been opinionated. Sometimes that’s welcome in a corporate setting, sometimes not. as I entered into my 30s I began to realize there were other things out there. There wasn’t just being on socially correct junior committees and going to the right parties and being seen with the right people. There were the things in life that you took a look at and made you realize that all the people you were on committees with would always need you more than you needed them.

Gradually I became active in my community. I became kind of a community/grassroots activist of sorts. But sometimes who I was clashed with some of the people I was a community activist with, as well as people I grew up with . And sometimes these two sides of me clashed within myself. It took me until I was well into my 40s to understand that I could be both of those people.

And then there is the whole me as I have gotten older. I married later than a lot of people, and when I was marrying for the first time a lot of people I know were not only divorcing but onto subsequent spouses. Sometimes in that part of my world I felt judged. And I don’t really know why I think it’s just because I kind of did me all of these years. Not always easily because as we grow we learn more about ourselves. Especially as women.

Sometimes now, I feel myself judged by an entirely different generation of women. I am a stepparent and I never had my own children, somehow that goes against you and I don’t quite know how. It would’ve been nice if I had been able to bear my own children, but medically that was never possible for me, and it just never would’ve presented itself as an opportunity in the more traditional “childbearing years.”

And there’s the whole idea of feminism and having it all. But at on the eve of 58 I still wonder if you can have it all? Or is what makes you happy in fact actually having it all? I think it’s that. I think having it all, is being content with your life. And maybe that runs counter to feminism. Maybe I personally run counter to feminism because I like to do things like garden and cook and keep my house. I don’t think for years you were supposed to admit that out loud.

I look around me and we all spend a lot of our time as women in general, telling everyone else what they should do with their lives. And now once again we are coming full circle to wondering if a bunch of folks in judicial robes are going to be telling women what they should do, and more importantly what they should do with their bodies?

Oh yes, readers, I am going there. No matter what my personal choices are vis-à-vis my own body, I have never believed it was my place to tell another woman what she should do with hers. And I have always resented it when those in clerical robes and judicial robes have tried to tell us what it meant to be a woman. And I resent most of all the politicians who take this issue on on both sides and pander.

Feminism in the 60s and 70s gave women the power to be whom they felt they should be. We have in a sense, enjoyed that since then. But we’ve all gotten lackadaisical and somewhat complacent. And that’s men and women, and look where it’s gotten us in this country? Politically, we are a cesspool.

I also get tired of those who go around proselytizing in political campaigns and even within our own communities telling us what our families are supposed to look like, and what our family values according to them are supposed to be. They also want to tell us what our sexual preferences and gender identity are supposed to be, and there’s no room for anything else because it makes all of those people uncomfortable.

All of this behavior has extended itself into our schools, our libraries, our daily lives. The ultimate echo chamber is social media and certain social media groups. And what they don’t understand is they are free to have their opinions but rights are not subjective and they don’t get to foist their opinions on us and tell us that is what we are supposed to do.

All of these people want to tell you that their First Amendment rights are of more value than ours. They also want to tell you how the life during the last political administration and president was so wonderful, and today is a mess. I am wondering if they will ever be able to pull their heads out of their collective asses and realize everything they are bemoaning as a mess today is a result of what we went through with the last administration? Do I think that the current administration is doing a particularly fabulous job? To be honest no not all of the time, but then you look at realistically what they were left to deal with. Also politics has gotten ridiculously reactive and over-reactive. Being a moderate is like a four letter word.

Then you look at what we are dealing with today. You have the people who are saying that they are so against socialism and totalitarianism and they are true conservatives yet they don’t know the basics of the United States Constitution, our history as a country, and what it is to be a true conservative. Truthfully, a lot of those people don’t even realize that they are closer to socialism, communism, and totalitarianism than anyone. Sometimes I wonder if what the U.S. is experiencing today is actually closer to what Great Britain saw in post WWII England? That was some truly ugly stuff for a while. And it seems to be here today.

What we are living today is what it’s like trying to exist in a country full of political extremism. And as women in this country, I think we are feeling that acutely. And I think as women we are looking at a horrible future for future generations of American women, if we all don’t speak up.

And we as women all need to stop thinking that there’s always something wrong with who we are because of how other people see us. I realized that again this weekend when a lot of high school reunions took place. Ladies, we are who we are, and just because the “it girls“ from back in the day still think they are “it girls” it doesn’t mean they are ….it just means perhaps they are stuck in a time warp. Interestingly enough, most of them still do not know how to behave, which is something I find very amusing personally.

When it comes to women there will always be strivers. There are strivers in the personal sense of those who have amazing career goals and attain them. Then there are the strivers who are perhaps not as appealing. Like social strivers.

The social strivers are often the women who are trying to run as fast as possible from what they’re from. Instead of embracing what they’re from, they only wish to project essentially a fake persona and are often label conscious, trendy Wendy types.

Where women always will fall short in this world is not embracing that part of who you are based on what you’re from. And maybe what you’re from isn’t what you feel is socially acceptable, but it’s stupid to try to deny it because everybody knows it anyway.

There’s nothing wrong with a woman who doesn’t color her hair, doesn’t have plastic surgery, and doesn’t get Botox and other fillers every few weeks from not even their dermatologist half of the time, but a spa or salon somewhere.

Women as a species will always be competitive on some level with other women. It’s human nature. But the thing is it’s how you use that competitive nature, and ironically some of the most hyper competitive women I’ve ever met in my entire life I’ve also been among the most insecure.

I’m not saying we’re supposed to all stop shaving our legs and armpits and we’re supposed to sing Kumbaya around the campfire, what I’m saying is maybe as part of the brand of the new feminism we need to actually be real.

So what is the new feminism? I’m still not really sure. But I do think part of it is being able to speak our peace. And I think part of being real is actually acknowledging you don’t want to lift up every woman. Because sometimes there are just some women who piss you off, or irritate you, or you question their inherent value as human beings and just do not like. And that’s OK as a woman to actually say that out loud. You can be your authentic self without worrying about having to be perfect every five minutes.

Obviously I don’t have the answers, and these are just some of my rambling thoughts. I’m sure not everyone will like what I have written today, but these are things I’m thinking about.

Thanks for stopping by.

just call me hester prynne…only b for blogger.

Hester Prynne. I bet most don’t know what I am referring to. Some will recognize the reference to The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. And before I get into the crux of this post, allow me to reflect on why many wouldn’t understand the Nathaniel Hawthorne reference. The Scarlet Letter as a novel is about shaming and social stigmatizing of Hester Prynne. But do students even read it any longer? Are they allowed to?

I wear my scarlet letter as B for blogger.

The Scarlet Letter is about 17th century New England. Today one could say the similar behaviors portrayed in this novel (written in the 19th century about life in the 17th century) is sort of life imitates art and art imitates life…and today it plays out nearly every day on social media somewhere. The masses used to whisper behind their hands to their pals in the market square, now they just vomit their word salad thoughts all over social media.

This novel by Nathanial Hawthorne also can be distilled down to a society punishing a woman for refusing to conform to what they determined the acceptable standards to be. Judgement of women. Nothing new there. It takes different forms as time progresses, but it comes back to Different = Bad and one of the Sheeple = Good.

You see these parents who don’t want masks, vaccines, and whatever else the flavor of that particular week is, they are also busy, busy, busy trying to ban books. The dumbing down of their children and turning public education into a circus side show act. So this book might no longer be taught, which is of course rather ironic because if you look at fiction today, even television and movies, where and what are the roots? No new breaking of ground, unless based upon fact, they take their cues from classic literature and plays. Just like current events take their cues from history, another thing they don’t want their kids subjected to — actual history.

At the bottom are screenshots from some of the Downingtown Area School District people. I call them crazies because in my opinion what else can you call them? Rational, normal human beings? They hate everyone who is not in their limited world view, they judge everyone and everything the least bit different from them. They are brainwashed and led around by groups outside the area who simply manipulate them. These are people who as individuals are afraid to have opinions that differ from the next mom in the car rider line.

I am their sworn enemy (as in all of this ilk) most probably because I am at the most simple of trying to understand pretzel logic, just different from them. And I dare think and process differently from them. I don’t speak in emojis and weird text abbreviations so I don’t have to write the actual words, and form actual sentences. With these people, no matter who and where they are, they are the kind of people that Different = Bad.

The theory of Different = Bad is why someone else whom I don’t know (or care to know) posted a photo of me in a hospital gown from over a decade ago when I was about to start treatment for breast cancer after having one half of my left breast lobbed off during surgery. I still think that was supposed to ultimately shame me, and it did not. But it sure did piss off a lot of people I did not even know who either knew someone currently being treated for breast cancer or had been, along with breast cancer survivors themselves.

Of course, slightly different topic, but undoubtedly why they have such a hard time with sexual preference and gender identity. And I do not pretend to be an expert on either topic, or even understand all of the gender identity terminology (there is a lot of it and it is simply just new to me and I admit I am learning) , but I do know that these people deserve love, understanding, and respect. And I have quite a few friends whom are with same sex spouses and partners, always have had. They are just my friends and I love them. People like this are also giving someone whom I don’t know in West Chester the business because she must find their views on same sex relationships and gender identity lacking. That screenshot is included with the ones I am referring to. Also interesting to note is one of the commenters is the wife of a big builder in Chester County, so it makes you wonder how will their customers react to her perspective? And is it just me or does it feel exceptionally distasteful?

The bottom line is I can’t control their behavior, I can only control my own behavior, but they don’t seem to grasp that in reverse. I thought I left this petty behavior behind with the days of eminent domain in Ardmore. I mean do these people from their beige, beige worlds really think this is the first time anybody’s called me out by name? Or that people don’t know my name?

Heck, I had two business owners in Ardmore once upon a time write a letter to the editor of the Main Line times that was published. It was literally a pre-cancel culture letter talking about how horrible I was… and naming me, just another community member, by name.

This is their big “Aha” moment. Only I haven’t been hiding. If I was hiding, I would not be signing my name to each post.

These people and people like them are doing this to others all over our communities. They do it everywhere. They think that their behavior is justifiable and decreed by God in the heavens above. Their God must be different from mine as theirs is rather hateful. Oh and on the topic of God, I do indeed mock faux Christians. You see, when you know the real deal actual Christians, you know the difference between them and the ones who perform exorcisms at school board meetings in bad pearls.

And then there are those who harass small businesses about their mask policies as a privately owned company and they video them as they are harassing them. Neat trick when one of the people who makes videos of these things has a mother who owns a very popular business in Downingtown. A business I might add that suffered catastrophic damage during Ida and we all (myself included) supported them when they reopened. Sadly, some of my friends and I will no longer feel comfortable patronizing that business at least for the time being. No that isn’t a boycott, it’s personal choice for the time being. That business was not judged for their masking policies were they?

These people like to essentially project their behaviors onto everyone else. And again I ask you how they don’t understand how their kids learn bullying and other bad behavior they blame school districts and everyone else for?

It’s time to take back our communities from these people. Stand up for yourselves, they only have the power we allow them to have, don’t they? They are mean, they say mean things, they do mean things. They live little lives they try to project upon all of us, every day. It is O.K. to say you think they are wrong. No one needs any of these people as friends, and the fact I say that is yet another thing they don’t like…..bless their hearts.

Well, I must Hester Prynne along now and wear my scarlet letter B, so below here are the screenshots and have a wonderful sunshine-y day. Don’t let the little bitches get you down.

oh look mom, it’s freedom to be a jackass day in exton

Moms Against Suffocating Kids. You just can’t make this stuff up.

How about Kids Against Suffocating Moms?

First of all, personally I am too damn old to protest in the rain. Secondly it’s SUNDAY, don’t they have anything else to do? Thirdly what do they think will happen because they stood in the rain outside a mall on Route 100 at Route 30? Literally no one blink their lights or beeped the horns in support. The people in the car next to us were laughing hysterically.

Also there is that whole thing about respecting our beautiful United States flag and not flying it in inclement weather? So Captain America, do you not respect our flag enough? The flag, our flag, should not be subject to weather damage. Maybe that is an all weather flag, but still? There are actually federal guidelines. How is this even a flag-bearing occasion?

Honestly, you can’t make this stuff up. I would say they should volunteer on a pediatric ward for kids with COVID but who knows if they even have shots?

Shaking my head….just shaking my head….

the dysfunctional states of america.

Storm clouds have arrived again on all of our horizons.

What is this world today in which we live? I actually ask myself that question because in spite of my friends and family, the world outside is ugly and out of control so much of the time.

At the bottom of this post is the UN-school board meeting in Great Valley from last evening. It was not the scheduled meeting of the Great Valley School District, these people stormed the meeting, disinformation in hand, were nasty and angry and took over a meeting of a large school board. The recording missed a lot of the angry and pejorative comments, and some even wrote to me how this was just a “community discussion.” Oh hell to the no. No business of the Great Valley School Board was conducted, just air time for the ill informed.

Among the ill informed, nurses. That blows my mind. One of the ill informed nurses is a Republican candidate for Great Valley School District, Sallie Campbell. She read a Psalm (Psalm 27) at a public school meeting. Separation of church and state much? She also tried to use that phrase “color blind”, and if she really understood what racism was, she wouldn’t use that phrase, would she? (See 1:12:36) She is a complete nut. She also doesn’t seem to understand she is running for political office and people can indeed comment on her demeanor as a candidate. She is mock worthy to a level that Saturday Night Live could make a skit about her.

Unionville Chaddsford School District also apparently had a similarly disruptive school board meeting. Other people elsewhere are reporting similar behavior at school board meetings everywhere. West Chester Area School District is also having issues.

This behavior is not acceptable and these adults are not misbehaving on behalf of the welfare of the children. This is all about them.

What happened last night was completely abhorrent and unacceptable. Given the angry and disrespectful people except I wondered why theycould not have had some of those people removed for being disruptive at a public meeting?

The behavior, expletives, and pejorative comments directed at the school board were a bit much (“pussies” “little bitches” whatever all grossly inappropriate.) As were the comments directed at those attending from the public who were wearing masks, some of whom were friends of mine. Some yelled at these people saying they were “retarded” (yes that word was used) and were wearing “face diapers”. Also other comments that had unpleasant racist connotations. None of that is OK.

I am not naïve and I have seen many a heated school board meeting but none where in essence people operating with disinformation in hand exhibiting mob mentality literally took over a school board meeting and had a non-sanctioned meeting. Some described it as a “community conversation” or other such drivel. It was not. And it prevented the business of a large school district from progressing. As a taxpayer, I object to that. If they want to have a “community conversation” they can go rent a hall or meeting space.

Do I like wearing a mask? Honestly no, but it is a small inconvenience in the bigger picture.

And the bigger picture is simple: if we suffer from large enough COVID resurgences, the reality is we go back to lock-down, and kids are deprived of the normalcy of everyday school they were deprived of in 2020.

The ugliness in this country as a whole right now again, is staggering. The behavior of some, simply appalling. Its like social mores no longer exist. I realized that even after lockdowns lifted I personally started going out less and less because I don’t wish to deal with the anger and vitriol that permeates everyday life. And I have to ask, how do our kids view all of this?

Today I feel world weary. And sad. And I am not a depressant. It’s watching how human beings are treating each other. I mean I am a realist and don’t expect world peace by the end of the summer, but I really wish for less ugliness in our communities. Next week the anti maskers anti vaxxers are taking their road show to a Tredyffrin Eattown School Board meeting and is any of this about the kids or just the egos of the parents?

And I am tired, so tired of the politics of political bullshit. Yes I cursed, but it is beyond ridiculous. I realized the other day I never hear anymore from some I used to speak with quite frequently. And I think it is because politically we have moved apart, and I am not exactly super liberal. But I don’t subscribe to the cult of fake news and 45 was Jesus with a bad rug. And it breaks my heart that intelligent people literally take fake news as the Gospel. (And I have to ask is it wrong to feel slightly gleeful that nasty Texas Governor Greg Abbott has tested positive for COVID? Asking for a friend.)

Also I have something for you all to read:

Philadelphia Magazine: The Return of COVID Restrictions Proves That Unvaccinated Lives Matter. Those complaining about personal freedom being suppressed by new COVID rules are ignoring one thing: These very restrictions they loathe are here to keep them alive. By ERNEST OWENS· 8/12/2021

At 57 I find myself yearning for simpler days, or maybe some of the innocence of childhood where we didn’t notice the ugliness of the overall world permeating our day to day existence. But I guess that isn’t possible and I will just keep on keeping on… and gardening. Yes gardening. It’s a happy thing devoid of craziness except what is found in nature.

Yes I know we can only control our own behavior, but it is hard to swallow some days how the behavior of others affects us. Common sense and most aspects of a sense of decorum no longer exists at all.

Be safe and be peaceful out there. And garden more.

a wish and a prayer

What a grey, miserable, damp, dark day. In a year where many of us have too much time alone with our own thoughts, today’s atmosphere makes it a day to hibernate and ponder, doesn’t it?

Spotify has this time capsule playlist. Listening to it has made me reflective and a little pensive. Right now Simply Red “Holding back The Years” is playing.

Lyrics
 Holding back the years
 Thinking of the fear I've had so long
 When somebody hears
 Listen to the fear that's gone
 Strangled by the wishes of pater
 Hoping for the arms of mater
 Get to me the sooner or later
 Holding back the tears
 Chance for me to escape from all I know
 Holding back the tears
 'Cause nothing here has grown
 I've wasted all my tears
 Wasted all those years
 Nothing had the chance to be good
 Nothing ever could, yeah
 I'll keep holding on
 I'll keep holding on
 I'll keep holding on
 I'll keep holding on, so tight
 Well I've wasted all my tears
 Wasted all of those years
 And nothing had the chance to be good
 'Cause nothing ever could
 I'll keep holding on
 I'll keep holding on
 I'll keep holding on
 I'll keep holding on
 Holding
 Holding
 Holding
 Holding
 I said
 It's all I have today
 It's all I have to say

Those lyrics are still profound, maybe moreso. It makes me think of the friends I have lost. Bright lights, but they burned too fast. One overdosing thanks to addictions they would not admit to, another to I think that their body just giving out after years of substance abuse even though they cleaned up their act for decades. One although still technically alive, had her life end when she wrapped herself around a tree one night…very intoxicated. There was even one who “fell” off their apartment balcony in NYC. There are sadly more, but these are the ones who come to mind.

Now the one in the massive drunk driving incident? She is still alive as far as I know but the traumatic brain injuries at the time essentially made her a child once again, with a child’s memories. So essentially, after the accident she didn’t know who I was, it was like she was a kid again and her memories just didn’t exist after a point. And her parents quite frankly did not make it easy for you to visit and she was also a paraplegic in a wheelchair, so I was young and eventually just stopped going. I still think of her often. She was such a good person and so bright. But one night, someone gave her the keys to her car back after they had been taken away. She would have been an awesome mom, I think, and we will also never know what trajectories her career would have skyrocketed to.

Damned if I know why I still think of all of these people, but I do. I think because I don’t think they would have had a easy time living through 2020. I mean, look at the rest of us, right? None of us are perfect, and even with the blessings our lives have, it’s one damn hard, stressful, sad year.

I have written about this before during 2020, but it all seems to be coming to a head again: COVID19, racism, truly ugly politics, and more. If these friends had survived, where would they be?

It also makes me think of people whom I am no longer connected to by my choice mainly, but sometimes theirs. One in particular whom I felt was so alone before 2020. The thing 2020 has taught a lot of us is the sad lesson that although we should have compassion for the struggles of others, we need to be mindful of our own families first. So what happens to these people? Do they just fall between the cracks of life?

Lyrics
 Has anyone ever written anything for you
 In all your darkest hours
 Have you ever heard me sing
 Listen to me now
 You know I'd rather be alone
 Than be without you
 Don't you know
 Has anyone ever given anything to you
 In your darkest hours
 Did you ever give it back
 Well, I have
 I have given that to you
 If it's all I ever do
 This is your song
 And the rain comes down
 There's no pain and there's no doubt
 It was easy to say
 I believed in you everyday
 If not for me
 Then do it for the world
 Has anyone ever written anything for you
 In your darkest sorrow
 Did you ever hear me sing
 Listen to me now
 You know I'd rather be alone
 Than be without you
 Don't you know
 So, if not for me, then
 Do it for yourself
 If not for me then
 Do it for the world
 Poet priest of nothing
 Poet priest of nothing
 Source: LyricFind
 Songwriters: Stevie Nicks / Keith Olsen

Yesterday I posted “A lot of people are struggling right now. This has been a crazy tough year. Send up a prayer to mankind so that people know they are loved.

I mean that. But where I am conflicted is some people I know who are struggling have to find the inner steel to climb out of the hole they have dug for themselves, all by themselves…as in we can’t do it for them or enable them in any way. And for so many people right now that seems an impossible feat. Why? Because 2020 is the year the unimaginable is happening…every damn day.

And then there are the people who want to climb out of the self-dug hole but say “It’s hard, I tried.” No sugarpuffs, life can be damn hard. But please, do it for yourself and those who love you. But will they? I don’t know. I hope so, but I don’t know.

2020 is the year of self-conflict (in a sense and I will explain.I think. I hope.) Human beings are not stand alone beings necessarily. We need each other. But COVID19 is isolating a lot of us. Some of us could really use a hug or just human contact. But there is the whole virus thing. Today I gave a friend a hug. I kinda know where she has been and what she was up to. She needed a hug. Maybe I did too. Not sure.

I have days where I just marvel at people. Especially on social media. It’s like normal social media has morphed into this whole virtual mean girls platform on steroids. People are just online assassins some days, and often you have to wonder for what? Because you are different from them?

And then there are the people who in the face of 2020 seem to have to post additionally how marvelously their lives are….and you know their lives are anything but happy, and wonder why can’t people admit when they are having bad days or a series of bad days? Would it be so bad? To me it’s preferable to living the grand illusion.

And the people who are struggling? Sadly now you can start to recognize it. So much of our life has become virtual, that you can see far more easily when the cracks are showing. So what do you do? You try to be there…but this is a year we also have to be there for ourselves and our own families.

There are people you would never think suffered from depression…who are. And people who prior to this kept their issues to themselves, but because of COVID19, life is just extra scary. And then there are yes the people who are milking 2020 to get as much free stuff out of people as possible. That really bothers me. And no, not being jaded, it is happening quite a bit.

There are many people I know who are sick or who have been sick. No not COVID19. Just other horrible stuff, like the ever popular Russian Roulette of step up and pick a cancer.

It feels like every day you hear something crazy. I just heard about the barn fire in West Pikeland Township on Yellow Springs Road. It had all of the sets, tools and supplies for the SALT Performing Arts. They do wonderful things and the arts are so at risk thanks to the economic downturn because of COVID19, and prior changes to tax codes that affect charitable donations. If you can give SALT Performing Arts a donation, please do. No homes were lost and no one was hurt, but wow what a blow. Do they do old fashioned barn-raisings anymore? I hope they do because I think that was probably a historic barn too. And don’t forget your local volunteer fire companies and first responders. They are our heroes in ordinary time.

We all just need a break from 2020, I think. Except I also feel 2020 has made us pause for the self reflection that makes us appreciate what we do have. I feel very grateful for my life and family…yes even when they are driving me crazy. (Like the one playing video games loudly a room over from the home office I am typing this in.)

2020 has just been one exceptionally crazy year for the annals of history. It will be the year we all remember with far more detail then the future will want us to. But what will we learn from all of this? I mean we certainly won’t forget the year from hell known as 2020.

I hope you appreciate I made it through the post without mentioning a certain malignant narcissist occupying 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Like all narcissists he hates when things aren’t about him, so the parting shot? #VOTE like your life and country depends upon it…because it does.

Stay safe out there and check in on people.

friend time

This weekend we had a socially distanced dinner with some of our high school friends outside on the porch at Stonewall Golf Club and it was so lovely. This afternoon I sat on our deck with another one of my friends from high school and we did wine and cheese. We have a long patio table on the deck and my friend and I sat at opposite ends of the table and enjoyed a beautiful afternoon and caught up.

One of the cheeses was amazing. A new discovery out of New York State from Nettle Meadow Farm. Kunick cheese. And the wine if you are interested was an Alsatian Pinot Blanc from Trimbach. (But I digress.)

My point is we have become so seclusionist that we might talk to each other on the phone or message or text, but that whole human connection is missing thanks to COVID19. After this weekend , I kind of feel like a new woman.

I did not realize how truly important human, in-person connection is until you have it after months of not having it.

Now COVID19 is not going anywhere fast, so we have to keep being safe. But we definitely have to have small doses of seeing the people in our lives.

My family and I have been sticking to ourselves. We sort of see neighbors occasionally at a distance but it hasn’t been much else than that. And the more you stay home, the more afraid to go out you become.

I am completely leery of being out in public and when we are out it’s masks, wipes, hand sanitizer and praying that person in the grocery store not wearing the mask will actually get it and stay 6 feet away. But people are so inconsistent in public, or inconsiderate (take your pick) that it makes you want to stay home.

And the more you stay home, especially if you are immunocompromised, the more anxious you are being around even your friends. It’s a vicious cycle. And then there is the artificial existence of social media. My friend commented on that, along with all the comments you see go by on Facebook that makes you want to correct for grammar and spelling that totally made me giggle because it’s true.

The COVID19 world is hard. And not just in your own sphere. I had a nice lady message my blog’s Facebook page. She was from Chester, England. COVID19 is making her feel isolated. She thought we were Chester County as somewhere in the UK. She was looking to connect with people to feel less alone. That kind of resonates, doesn’t it?

Anyway I just didn’t realize the own hum of my existence of being lacking and shut off until this weekend. And then because I had a couple little doses of friend time, I feel almost rejuvenated. I feel up, and alert, and positive.

We need to stay connected to keep our sanity through this. It can’t just be a virtual life we live on social media.

Hope you all had a great weekend. Thanks for stopping by.

covid fatigue

Bleak Ruin

COVID19 fatigue. I am thinking it’s a real thing. No, not talking about people being fatigued after recovering from COVID19, I am talking about being on mental and emotional overload without really realizing it.

I don’t know about you, but I’m just tired of it all. I’m tired of wearing masks but I know I have to wear one.

I’m tired of having a hard time finding masks that actually fit because a lot of them aren’t adjustable.

I’m tired of trying to do things like find disinfectant wipes or even a blessed can of Lysol spray because they are either out of stock or someone is price gouging.

I am tired of not feeling comfortable enough to go do my own shopping in the grocery store because I live an immunocompromised life and the few times I have been out there are so many people that will stand within close proximity to other people not wearing a mask it sort of freaks you out.

I am tired of not seeing my friends and I don’t even go out that much. But it’s summer and it’s the time when you enjoy your friends company and you do cookouts and you go on vacation together. Whatever your routine, it no longer exists.

I am tired of watching all my friends with school-age kids and kids in general worry. It’s summertime kids are supposed to be able to play outside with abandon, go to summer camp, have sleepovers, and a lot of that isn’t occurring.

I was talking to a friend yesterday who said her children don’t even want to do online anything at this point because they are so tired of virtual everything they want real life again. I totally get it. Last week I did a historic “walking tour“ of West Chester, only it was virtual. It wasn’t that it wasn’t interesting, but I realized how much I would’ve loved it being in the town with a group of people on a tour and my camera instead of on a zoom virtual event.

With a few of my friends in particular I’ve seen very little of and it’s just because of what’s going on. Normally this time of year we will have our little summer day trips together where we go and look at antique stores, or walk around say Kennett Square and have lunch, go to a Life’s Patina opening, or to the herb sale or art show at Historic Yellow Springs but we haven’t really seen each other. It’s not because we’re mad at each other or anything like that it’s all because of COVID-19. I haven’t even gone to see the goats this year at Yellow Springs Farm because of COVID19.

We live in a world where we are all holed up in our own little universes. And how can we feel safe out in the world when COVID19 cases keep spiking and people are partying like it’s 1999 with complete abandon and disregard (cue the dumb ass college students at Villanova University.) And oh for God’s sake yes I remember that age and outside summer parties where where it was at, but we didn’t have a global pandemic to contend with.

I am watching via social media my friends dropping off their children at college. And I know they’re trying to put up a good front, but at the same time I know they are concerned because going out into the world with #COVIDidiots can be a problem.

I know people who are keeping their kids home this semester, I know people whose kids want to stay home this semester because they’re afraid of how their schools are approaching COVID19. I know people who are choosing to essentially homeschool their children for the year because they’re not comfortable with whatever it is their school districts are doing wherever they live.

I know plenty of people who are economically stressed right now because of all the additional expenses involved with COVID19. And then there are those who have taken pay cuts and been laid off. And then there is the whole category of my many friends who own small businesses who are just trying to stay afloat.

Meanwhile, a chain restaurant along the Main Line which closed a few years ago got COVID19 money. Bucca di Beppo. And it closed around 2013!

We can’t even go visit our natural resources without worry. And we have Energy Transfer / Sunoco /Sunoco Logistics for that. They polluted Marsh Creek Lake. And oh yes it’s a water source.

People are snapping out at friends and family. It’s COVID19 stress. Then add the stress of this country’s current political nightmare. We have a president who is essentially trying to dismantle the United States Postal Service. Because he doesn’t want to be honest about COVID19 but he doesn’t want to lose the election either so he wants to screw up our ability to vote by mail. Yes I believe the political stress caused by a toxic president who acts like a malignant narcissist adds to all of this COVID19 fatigue as well.

Add to this all of the weird weather. We keep having storms which feel like biblical proportions that do all sorts of damage in a time where we’re really searching for a little good news. Even if you deliberately try to avoid the news these days, you can’t avoid the news these days. like among today’s headlines is the fact that the United States has surpassed 170,000 deaths from COVID19.

Personally, I’m kind of over 2020. This adulting stuff is hard this year. It’s ridiculous. Try to keep the faith, people. It’s like our only option.

UC Davis Health Newsroom
NEWS | July 7, 2020
“COVID fatigue” is hitting hard
. Fighting it is hard, too, says UC Davis Health psychologist
It’s time to develop coping skills, which include exercise and talking about our fears and stress.

Washington Post: Health
With no end to the pandemic in sight, coronavirus fatigue grips America
. By Brady Dennis, Jeremy Duda and Joel Achenbach
August 11, 2020 at 8:00 a.m. EDT

Press Democrat: Running on empty: How the pandemic has left many of us feeling cranky MEG MCCONAHEY THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
August 14, 2020, 3:31PM

the seemingly unending covid19 mess of it all

I don’t know about all of you , but this is so unnerving what we are dealing with. I am referring to COVID19. And 2020 in general.

As our communities struggle with how and what school districts are doing, many in our communities are making excellent points. Someone said to me if all school districts start virtually how are they possibly going to switch to in person? What is the magic combination? What is going to be different in October that they are suddenly going to feel it is safer? She said she felt that whoever goes virtual should be that way until January if not the end of the year, unless some schools actually go hybrid and it goes smoothly at those schools. She also pointed out a lot of schools which were contemplating hybrid are dropping off one by one.

Let’s start with the school districts who I think are trying but aren’t receiving consistent direction from any THEY answer to. First there is the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to deal with and then there are Federal politics of the United States Secretary of Education Betsy De Vos because face it, she is allowing herself to be used because of the election. Old Betsy wasn’t appointed for anything other than political reasons so how can you trust that woman to decide what’s best for America’s children?

I think literally everything the school districts are dealing with is conflicting information. Then of course, they are also dealing with the sub-level politics within each school district.

Common sense and being more realistic would keep everyone virtual longer but we are dealing with politics over people on every level. And then there are the people who either can’t or just don’t want to homeschool their kids virtually. Economics, jobs, personal choice. It’s a hot mess.

And the problem overall? I don’t think the districts ever had disaster plans to cover any of this. Who knows if they should or shouldn’t have, NONE of expected this, and face it, ever since COVID19 has landed none of us have gotten consistent messages or direction from leadership in Washington DC.

Top down from the White House, they have tried all along to suppress information because of politics. People are dying and they are playing politics. The White House has been playing their agenda at the expense of everyone else and to the extent of trying to discredit their very highly educated experts because the experts are telling them they have to pay attention and do better that this COVID19 global pandemic is far from over.

People I know have lost family members to this virus. Other people I know are separated from family members because those family members are in states that are like big giant hotspots of COVID19.

Someone I know told me yesterday that one of their doctors lost a colleague to COVID19. A surgeon in their 30s or 40s. Not old or sick. This doctor also got COVID19 themselves early on from a patient who did not know they were carrying the virus. As this one doctor recovered they needed physical therapy because the virus caused some kind of movement imbalance.

But I guess the point to this long rant is nobody knows what’s going on and we’re all playing catch-up. And we’re dealing with misinformation and withheld information.

And this virus is affecting the economy. Except I think what is actually happening is it’s pointing out that the economy wasn’t so hot in the first place. Now everyone can hop all over me about that but I spent my life in the financial services industry. I’ve been around as the wheels have come off before.

And the day before yesterday I had to go to the bank only my bank branch is closed for renovations so I had to go to a bank branch for my bank in a supermarket. I haven’t been in a supermarket since March before COVID19 hit officially. I almost had a panic attack as I counted the people who weren’t socially distancing and weren’t wearing masks and didn’t have masks on their children. And were also crowding me. I went home and changed all my clothes, got a shower, and washed my hands multiple times.

I wish I had the magical answers to this problem, but as someone who like many of us out there lives an immunocompromised life, this stuff terrifies me.

Other countries who have been serious about containing this are doing much better now. But the overwhelming problem in this country when it comes to COVID19 from education to just going to the grocery store safely is the politics in this country. The toxic freaking politics.

I just wish we could learn more about what is going on honestly with the politics of it stripped away.

So many people are struggling. Salary cuts, job loss, losing their homes to crazy acts of mother nature. You name, it 2020 is mind boggling.

How do we come together and survive this? How do we usher the children safely back to school? What is safely back to school?

I can tell you I have almost gotten to the point where I don’t want to listen to the news or read newspapers anymore. Like many other people, I have moments where I struggle with all that is happening emotionally. You have to wonder why it is we are all being tested? Is it to make us stronger, teach us a lesson, what? You have to wonder if part of the answer is philosophical or theological.

I don’t have any answers I just have thoughts on the whole thing. And I don’t know if my thoughts are helpful to anyone. But I felt the need to write this out.

I guess we just have to try to continue to soldier along as best we can and try to make good decisions and stay healthy.

Thanks for stopping by.

#covid-idiots in chester county

Reader submitted photo dated today 5/14/2020

I will preface what I am about to say with I do NOT disagree with the fact that we need to take steps to get things open again. Only I don’t really know what that looks like because there are some businesses that are going to be harder than others to re-open because of the proximity employees have to customers like with restaurants, bars, hair salons and barbershops.

But the photo you see above taken today in West Chester downtown at the old courthouse is not how to do it.

I think these people are freaking idiots, truthfully.

They aren’t wearing masks they aren’t even social distancing. They are just waving “open” flags. These are the kind of people who are going to keep us closed longer because these are the kind of people who are going to catch COVID-19 or coronavirus by their behavior and spread it.

Do these people think they are actually going to sway elected officials with this protest today? They aren’t. But if any of them pop up with the virus we’re going to be closed longer.

It’s an actual global pandemic. It’s not some political tool to control us. I think this is ridiculous.

Sign me irritated by stupidity.