The Numbness Is Wearing Off and I’m Asking Why America? Why? Why? Why?

1) The numbness is wearing off and I’m looking around at what’s left of America.
2) Was it always this racist?
3) How did I miss that?
4) Why did I spend so much time befriending Republicans?
5) Because I live in Texas and that’s mostly all there was.
6) My Republican friends are some of the kindest people in the world and they voted for this.
7) I love them, but may never talk to them again. So sue me.
8) Trump loves to sue people.
9) Don’t sue me, I need to save my money.
10) I don’t have much money.
11) We’re nearing retirement, but the first crash took all our money.
12) My husband lost his job and we had to cash out the rest.
13) He’s in his 60’s and will work forever.
14) We were counting on Social Security that we’ve paid into for a combined 80 years.
15) Social Security will vaporize.
16) I’m so worried for my children.
17) I’m so worried for my grandchildren.
18) Will I even have grandchildren?
19) Will there even be a planet?
20) Because Trump has the nukes.
21) God help us. Trump. Has. The. Nukes.
22) Speaking of God…
23) Where do I go to church?
24) My church is filled with Trump supporters.
25) They are the nicest people in the world.
26) I’m NOT kidding.
27) Did they not read the fine print?
28) I still love them.
29) I don’t respect them.
30) I’m grieving about that.
31) TRULY. Grieving. About That.
32) I taught Sunday school for 15 years.
33) I have nowhere to go.
34) I have NOWHERE to go.
35) Why ‘christians’ why?
36) I can’t stop sobbing about this.
37) It’s the worst betrayal.
38) Would black people welcome me in their church?
39) Why should black people welcome me in their church?
40) I wouldn’t welcome me in their church.
41) Do we need secret handshakes?
42) I’m not kidding.
43) LIBERAL white people need a signal to show that we’re a safe place.
44) Not ALL white people.
45) Just SOME white people.
46) I’m terrified for African Americans.
47) I’m terrified for Muslims.
48) I’m terrified for the disabled.
49) I’m terrified for LBGQT.
50) I’m terrified for women.
51) I’m a victim of sexual assault/sexual harassment in the workplace.
52) I reported it.
53) I was threatened with job loss.
54) I shut up because I needed work.
55) What about health care?
56) What about pre-existing conditions?
57) I have pre-existing conditions.
58) I am so screwed.
59) What about my gay friends who’ve been with their spouses for 30 years?
60) Are their marriages invalidated?
61) Invalidated is a long word.
62) Why do Trumpers hate long words?
63) Why are their SM rants filled with spelling errors?
64) Why are their SM rants filled with punctuation errors?
65) Why are they so angry?
66) Trump Whites have it ALL.
67) Trump Whites HAD it all.
68) Trump Whites are getting ready to lose it all.
69) Why? Why? Why?
70) I’m afraid to publish this
71) I’m afraid to publish this in America.
72) America!
73) I’m a middle-aged, white lady in America and I’m afraid.
74) I’m afraid. I’m afraid. I’m afraid.
75) God. Help. Us. All.

PS  A message to the Trump supporters: Your misspelled, poorly punctuated hate is being laughed at and deleted. You’ve just proven numbers 63, 64 & 65.

Warning: This is not a funny blog. My experiences with Good ‘Ol Boy Assault & Molestation in the Workplace. #NeverTrump

UPDATE: I Thought this would be the end of Trump’s campaign. How I miss those days of naiveté.

Like many women, I have been watching the Trump campaign self-implode after the Billy Bush on the Bus video came to light.  I was appalled as most of you were and in the days that followed have been overwhelmed with memories that I thought were long shoved down and erased.  I am completely freaked out by the women and men who think this is acceptable behavior because it’s not.  It contributes to the rape/assault/molestation culture in America although I’m sure there are many people who will say it does not.

Many men and some women don’t think this is a common occurrence or a problem.  Almost every woman I know has come forward with at least one story of being molested, assaulted or raped.  My heart breaks for all of us knowing how much pain and suffering is out there that has gone unpunished.  Their stories have made me weep. Mine are in many ways mild in comparison but have still left a scar.

Here are my stories:

1) At a very young and naive age 16, my mother took me to see a very well-known singer-songwriter whose name would be familiar to you all.  After the performance, they let approximately 50 hand-picked people go through a receiving line.  I was so excited for this honor, I was trembling.  When we got to him, my mother was first and he shook her hand.  I went next and put my hand out to shake his and he yanked me to him with one hand, grabbed my breast with the other and shoved his tongue in my mouth.  I pulled back, screamed ‘Yuk’, started rubbing my mouth with the back of my hand as he and his entourage laughed.  My mother pulled me away and we left with me crying all the way home.

2) Two years later, I was attending college in Boston and riding the subway to my internship.  It was very crowded with people shoved together, randomly bumping each other.  Suddenly a hand reached up my dress and into my underwear.  I screamed, pulled away and looked behind me.  No one was looking at me, so I had no way of knowing who did it. I quickly worked my way through the crowd to the other end of the subway.  From then on, I walked the 1 1/2 miles to work every day.

3)  Several years later, I had my first television network job.  A former NFL player, now football analyst sometimes worked in the building.  The first time I encountered him, he yelled ’Nice tits. What’s your bra size?’ The men around him laughed like it was the funniest thing they’d ever heard.  From then on, whenever he was in the building, he would look for me and try to grab my breasts, always yelling something obscene when he did it.  I went to my immediate boss who said he couldn’t do anything.  I went to the Sr. Vice President of my Department.  His response was to shout in my face saying ‘stay the Fuck away from the talent or you’ll lose your job.  Get the fuck out of my office.’

4)  One of my girlfriends was dating a Producer at this network and we all went out to dinner together.  As it got later and darker and I was tired and wanted to go home, she asked him to walk me to my car because it wasn’t safe that late at night.  We walked outside together, making small talk (I didn’t know him that well) and when we got to my car, he grabbed me from behind, turned me around, shoved me against the car, grabbing my body and shoving his tongue in my mouth.  By the way, this man is now a well-respected Network President.

5) When I moved to Texas and worked at an ABC affiliate, a call went around the station late one afternoon to find someone who who could ride horses. It was rodeo time and they were bringing horses around to all the tv stations as a way to create publicity. I was the only available person who could ride, the problem was, that day I was wearing a skirt.  They said not to worry, they wouldn’t shoot anything until I was on the horse. I went to the horse and sort of shimmied my skirt up my thighs and got my foot in the stirrup. I looked over at the camera operator and he was pointing the camera at me.  I told him to turn the camera away. He said he wasn’t shooting me, he was checking the light and to hurry up because they needed the footage and he had to go on another story. I stupidly believed him and flung my leg over the horse.  We shot the video of me riding around in the grassy area behind the parking lot. The next day, he copied and distributed 5 tapes of me that he’d shot up my dress, with my legs apart when I’d gotten on the horse.  Guess who got in trouble? Me. For being naive and reporting a nice and well-liked guy to HR rather than going along and being a good sport. To this day, people say what a great guy he is and shake their heads at me when I mention it. So I’ve stopped mentioning it.

6)  These are just the stories that pop into my head right now, but I’m positive there are many more. In fact, I just remembered another one, but I’m mentally exhausted from thinking about this and don’t want to share any more stories.  I’m only sharing now because if it can help save one woman from this crap, or from feeling alone, I’m willing to throw myself out there for ridicule and for the deniers to come at me.

You know what ladies?  We shouldn’t have to go along and be good sports.  This shouldn’t happen to women.  Until now I didn’t realize how often it happens to other women and now I’m pissed at myself for keeping it quiet all these years.  People ask me all the time why I wear my clothing a size too big. Well this is the reason.  Self-fucking preservation.  I do want to apologize for how poorly written this is, I’m sure there are grammatical and spelling errors but oh well, I don’t feel like editing myself because I’m exhausted by it all.

PS I will NEVER understand how ANY woman could vote for Donald Trump, because this is EXACTLY who he is and this is EXACTLY what he’s done many times.

Wherein I Laugh and even SING in the Face of a Skin Cancer Diagnosis…

I have a wonderful relationship with my son, Jake.  He’s my little buddy and nobody makes me laugh harder than him.   (Full Disclosure:  He’s a grown-up, hairy 28-year old man.)  So what would be more appropriate than to call him the morning I found out I had skin cancer and ‘SING’ the diagnosis to him over the phone.  Please Note:  I’m not encouraging this kind of behavior, it’s just ‘US’.

Phone:  Ring, Ring

Jake:   (Answers the phone)  ‘Is this important?  I’m at work.’

Me:     ‘Sort of…… Sings:  ‘la la la la, I have skin cancer,  la la la la la’

Jake:  ‘What did you say?’

Me:      Sings again:  ‘la la la la, I have skin cancer,  la la la la la’

Jake:    ‘How is that even possible?  I’ve never seen anyone wear more sunblock and hats than you in my entire life.’

And he’s right.  I’ve never been a sun worshipper.  I apply sunblock every single day of my life and have since I was 20.  And not just my face and neck, but my chest and arms too.  I keep roll-on sunblock in my purse 365 days a year so I can re-apply it during the day.  I wear sun visors constantly!  Anytime I know I’ll be in the sun for more than ten minutes, I’ve got a hat or visor and sunglasses on.  Cuz Spoiler alert:  I’m white, in fact, I’m very white.  There’s a chance God forgot to give me melanin when he was assembling me in heaven.  I’m pale with blue eyes, red hair, not a lot of freckles as they’ve faded with age….thank you baby Jesus!

Every evening before I shower, I go through a 5 to 10 minute facial routine.  I wash, mask, exfoliate and then moisturize the crap out of my face.  In the morning, I wash that off and re-apply the daytime moisturizer, sunblock, foundation and powder.  I draw the line at carrying a fancy, southern-belle parasol, although I am now reconsidering.

This just in from the news desk.  I’m old.  I’ll attach a photo and you may not think I’m old.  But really….drum roll…I’m in my 50s.  My husband asks me weekly if I’m planning to age anytime soon.  The answer is ‘Not if I can help it!’  I’m attaching an un-retouched photo of myself taken two weeks ago, a close-up on a sunny day while standing under a tree.  I told my friend (who I cropped out for this blog post) that I wouldn’t pose in the sun, we had to stand in the shade.  That’s how careful I always am.  And still over the years, I’ve gone to the dermatologist and had various ‘barnacles’ removed from my skin.  Some have been ‘pre-cancerous’ and some have been ‘nothing’.  But this one was ‘squamous cell carcinoma’.  That just sounds bad.  ‘Squamous’ sounds like something an ugly fish would have stuck on its hind quarters, not something I should have on my face.

So, the appointment’s been made.  It’ll be removed, there will be stitches on my face and I’m re-thinking my hair-do.  Gonna try a modified ”Veronica Lake.”  I always thought she was beautiful, so now I’m gonna copycat her!  (See below: it’s Veronica Lake y’all!)

VeronicaLake

After the surgery, I’ll find out the biopsy results and learn if I need further treatment.  My fingers are crossed, I’m being optimistic and I’m gonna use even MORE sunblock after this.  I’m also checking out parasols on-line.  Maybe I’ll start a new trend.

And about my son and my cancer song?  A few hours later that same day, I received a text from him.  “Hey Mom, I love you. Thanks for singing to me, you seem very happy….for someone with a skin cancer diagnosis!’  (NOTE:  I’m always happy when I talk to my kids and skin cancer won’t change that any time soon!)

How NOT To Meet Your Son’s Co-Workers…..or Don’t Over-Prepare Me Or I’ll Lose My Mind

I just returned from my first visit to Los Angeles since my son moved there last July for a new job.  Jake is a hilarious young guy, but he is also much more reserved than I am.  Really, though, who isn’t?  If you know me, you know I’m verrrry friendly and outgoing and love meeting people, yes, our tour guide from Beverly Hills has e-mailed me twice since Thursday.  I meet people everywhere and love doing so and yes, it embarrasses my kids from time to time.

So last Sunday we were heading over to the studio where Jake works and he begins to instruct me on how to behave, what not to say and who I can and cannot talk to.  He seems so serious about his instructions that I’m surprised he didn’t write it up ahead of time and put it in a pamphlet.  I begin to become SO overwhelmed by all his instructions that I tell him I’m just gonna pretend not to speak English so I don’t have to talk to anyone.  On the drive over, I try out English, German and Swedish accents and he says they all sound Russian so I decide I’m gonna make believe I’m a newly arrived Russian immigrant. 

    So we arrive and get to the first guard and I get my ID out and he nods and says ‘hello’ and I just…lose. it!  And I mean, LOSE it!  I start ‘nervous laughing’ so hard I can’t breathe and Jake looks at me like he wants to kill me and that just makes it worse!  We get to the second guy who’s supposed to put the bracelet on my wrist and Jake says ‘hi, this is my mom…she’s visiting from Texas’ and the guard tries to say ‘hello, how are you’ to me and I look at Jake and he’s looking at me like ‘please be normal’ and I start laughing even worse…SO bad, I’m crying and the guard starts laughing and he looks at Jake and says ‘wow, you must’ve said something really funny’.

     It gets so bad, I have to go into the ladies room to try to calm down and get it together. I come out and Jake says ‘are YOU alright?’ and I start to lose it AGAIN! I just hold up my hand and say ‘we better not talk’. I guess the moral of the story is Do Not ‘over prepare’ me or I WILL have some type of episode and just lose my mind.