Monday, November 26, 2012

He Doesn't Write, He Doesn't Call

For months, I thought we had a real relationship. I mean, I didn't see it coming, but when I got the first e-mail, I confess I couldn't believe it.

At the beginning, the e-mails were general, wanting to be my friend, never asking anything of me. I replied in kind. I wanted to be his friend, too. I never expected anything but being a pen pal, but that was good enough for me.

Then he called. Once, twice in a month. I could hardly answer his questions. His voice was so deep, so rich. I fell in love. I confess, I fell in love with a voice. Sometimes it was raspy. I worried he had a cold. Sometimes it was strong and vibrant. The calls became more frequent, as did the e-mails. Within half a year, we were in constant contact, exchanging e-mails daily. I couldn't call him, so I had to wait for his incoming call. I never thought about why he didn't give me a number.

My friends said I was nuts. He was probably married and trolling for a sucker. I knew different. He wasn't trolling for a sucker. He was interested in me, and only in me. He never asked for much money. Just a few dollars here and there. No asking for access to my bank accounts. No asking for large sums. Just a few dollars. I could afford a few dollars, so I sent him the money.

Then, one day the calls and e-mails stopped. My in-box was empty. My phone was silent. Where had he gone? Were my skeptical friends right after all? Did he have someone else? Someone younger? Richer? I wept, but never let my friends know how devastated I felt. I had pinned my hopes and dreams on a voice at the end of a long phone line, warm words in e-mails. And now, thundering silence, except for my sobs. I feel dirty, used, used up.

Much as I hate to admit it. I've been dumped. Worse yet, Bill Clinton, the Big Dog, dumped me. Again. I guess he was only after my money, one $3.00 donation at a time.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Memorable Days

Yesterday I got up to fix the Thanksgiving meal for my beloved husband Terry. I'd been up more than an hour when I remembered what the historical date meant for me.

Every generation has a day in history it will never forget. For the Greatest Generation, it might be Pearl Harbor Day, D-Day, the end of World War II. They can tell you where they were, what they were doing, when they heard the news.

The Baby Boomers can tell you what they were doing on November 22, 1963 when they heard that President Kennedy had been assassinated.

Later generations have their memorable dates as well. The day the space shuttle Challenger exploded. 9/11.

Every year since 1963, I would wake up and remember what happened and where I was. This year was the first time I didn't think about the assassination the second my feet hit the floor. I felt a pang of guilt. Had the events of the day ceased to be important, to have an impact on me? I don't think so, but time has a way of replacing historical dates with personal dates. Our private dates are those we hold closest to the heart.

The day we met our spouses (spice? What is the plural of spouse, anyway?). Our anniversary. The day children were born. Graduations, more weddings, grandchildren, all become more important and push the historical dates aside.

I heard the first reminder of what November 22 meant at a news break at halftime in the third football game. Now, I didn't have television tuned to news channels at all, so there might have been earlier mentions. I doubt it. As time has passed, more people alive today were born after 1963 than before. For them, the assassination wasn't a current event but a historical one. For those of us who remember, it forms part of the fabric of our memories.

Yesterday my husband and I added another personal memory to that fabric. We plan to continue adding more memories with each passing day. To you and yours, remember your memories, personal and historical. They make you, you.

Monday, November 5, 2012

We Get What We Deserve

Tomorrow, Americans have an opportunity to elect a president. Why do I say "opportunity?" Because turnout will be nowhere close to 100% of the electorate. To think that we are so cavalier about being able to vote makes me weep. People who live in countries where they are oppressed for even thinking about voting would gladly stand in lines to have their vote registered and counted.

Back in 1996, Martin Walker wrote a book, The President We Deserve, about Clinton's reelection campaign. His thesis was we knew who the president was; we knew his infidelity; we knew his foibles. And we reelected him anyway.

I want to that that a step further. No, I'm not advocating for or against our current president. If you feel you must pounce on me, pounce for what I write, not what you think I believe.

In talking with people over the past year, I'm dismayed at how many are turned completely off by the campaigns. Both campaigns. Up and down the ballot. My friends are burned out from the yelling, negative saturation TV ads, lies and half-truths. Too many are threatening not to vote at all. And herein lies my concern.

If you don't vote, we all get the president and Congress we deserve. If you don't vote for or against a candidate, any candidate, you could be part of the process that gets the other guy elected. If you stay home, you lose your right to bellyache the day after the election and for the next four years. You have not done your civic duty.

I want to see a major change in voting laws. I want voting to be mandatory, not optional. All citizens should have to go to the polls and cast a ballot. Maybe some would vote without learning thing one about the candidates. Hell, that happens today. But 100% turnout should be the least we could do.

I also want a box on the ballot in every category that is "D) None of the Above." Here in Virginia, and a few other states, our choices for president this year would be (in alpha order), A) Virgil Goode, B) Barack Obama, C) Mitt Romney and D) None of the Above. D would likely win. At least, the human winner would not be able to claim a clear mandate from the people if 51% of 50% vote for him. I know it would never work. I know no one has the fortitude to suggest such a change.

But, one of these days pigs will fly and Hell will freeze over. Right now, pigs flying and Hell freezing aren't on the ballot. Two things we can safely bellyache about. Think I'll go for a walk and look for flying pigs.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween Confusion

Mocha here. I have no idea what Halloween is. My humans don't do much to celebrate. My human mom hung a witch on the door. It's not even scary, if that was her plan. I think she looks funny. She's too far off the floor for me to play with. Was that part of my human mom's idea?? I was not amused.

We live in the country, so little kids didn't dress up and go door-to-door asking for treats. My human dad bought one bag of treats for himself. Meh! But, my human mom made sure I got my crunchy treats last night.

Two days ago, my human mom scared me. She walked around the house with a yellow stuffed animal on her head. She said it was her costume and that she was dressed as Trump. What's a Trump? My human dad thought she'd lost her mind. She said the costume was easy to wear. So there!

All day, my human mom worked at her computer. She does this every day, all day long. Except when she stops to scratch my ears and let me play innie-outie at the door. I love going outside. I love coming back inside. Sometimes I'm out only a few minutes. My human mom says I should be named Patricia Finnegan, because when I go out, I want to come in again. I'm always on the wrong side of the door. She's wrong. I'm Mocha. Don't even try changing my name.

I looked out the window last night. Sometimes a little black kitten comes to visit. My human mom calls him the interloper. I think he wants to play, but when he comes over to visit, he runs when he sees me. So, of course, I chase him. I just want to play, too. He didn't come over last night. I watched and watched. I don't know who was on the deck, but my human mom took this picture. What do you think it is?

I hope you had a happy Halloween. I think it's a kitty celebration. I got the treats I wanted. And I didn't have to play any tricks. Except prairie dogging this morning to wake my humans up.