Economic Discrimination

Pray for the less fortunate: I just read of 3 houses that were consumed by fire in my old neighborhood. 3 persons injured. I gasped at the news of a mansion on fire in Colt’s Neck, New Jersey, because that is where Bruce Springsteen lives! 4 persons dead there, 2 of them children. I go through a litany of people and intentions nightly, as I pray in bed, unable to kneel anymore, reminding myself that while women are likely to live longer than men, we are also statistically more likely to become disabled. If I had a choice, I’d choose sudden death, cardiac, because men have the edge on us all through life. Power, no need to wear high heels, makeup, dressing to impress, sexiness is our currency. If we don’t have that, and the look of youth, what use are we? Men don’t have to conform to that standard. They can come on national TV wearing an undershirt, like Simon Cowell does! And get away with that, because he looks like he does, and is rich and famous. Cocksure they are! They keep the cherries for themselves, engaging in a society wide economic terrorism, which keeps women most often in their place, because money is power. And women routinely are undervalued with the studied rate of 72 cents to every dollar a white man earns, at jobs that are more plums, and even when a woman takes on more, and more, in duties, in county government, she is still undervalued, when she shows what she has done, and still, paltry raises, like 1% per year, which lags inflation, which means you get poorer over time…and so does her family. Everyone around her suffers as she is undervalued, and can’t get the things that improve her life, like a fancy gym membership, with 1 on 1 boxing classes, that are directly responsible for an over 100 lb weight loss, as part of a regimen to overcome, and have a good life.

They take extra jobs, like fire inspector, doing more hours, saving the county oodles of budgetary dollars, but when it comes time to reward her for her vigilance and so much more, they say she is in the union, even though she is not. She doesn’t pay dues anymore, and has been let go from that yoke. Being in the union keeps her salary artificially low. She is management, but they won”t give her that title, or the salary commensurate with the new rank. They piss me off, because she is the best they have ever had!!! And they are throwing her away, as so much unnecessary detritus, basically unvalued, and admitted by some, because she is a woman, and sexism is rife in middle America.

When you unvalue someone’s work and sacrifice, you are declaring power over less fortunate people, and the men by extension put more pressure on themselves to perform, to be breadwinners, to drop dead faster, from high stress, because they didn’t want women to be equal. They cut off their noses to spite their faces! Makes some real sense, right? Go out on top, with power, a smile on your corpse face, because when you unvalued the women, you also unvalued yourself. And your families all suffer, collectively, when women don’t get what they are worth. Time for this travesty to STOP! 

“Get a life” like William Shatner said, re Trekkers, long ago. But this means treating us all equally, no matter if man, woman, black, white, Asian, Latino, LGBTQ, young, old, disabled or not, as long as the work is still doable with reasonable accommodations, wearing a long beard, shorts, skirts, sandals, work boots, makeup or not…these are not the criteria by which we consent to be judged!!! Judge us simply on whether we are adding value to your enterprise, and deserve to be rewarded thus.

I was also a victim, in my work life. Over many years, of a working lifetime, with suppressed wages, which impacts Social Security later, contributing to senior years poverty for many, as SS is the only source of retirement income, for so many. Only because my mom was married to my dad for over 10 years, she was able to collect his much higher SS rate, when he died, which covered the loss of alimony, upon his death. And even then, I had to take in my mom, because the money ran out, and was never enough. And that is part of why I live alone today, paying for this societal disgrace, with my very life. Poverty of women continues through the generations. STOP NOW!!!! 

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Thanksgiving 2018

Baked brie, pumpkin soup, almonds, walnuts, raisins, ruggalach, rainbow cookies, succulent brine soaked turkey, 2 kinds of stuffing, both with and without sausage, sage, thyme, cranberry relish with clementines, cornbread, creamy mashed potatoes with garlic, sweet potatoes with marshmallow topping, string beans, asparagus, several kinds of wine: merlot, cabernet sauvignon, and sweet too, like moscato d’asti. Sometimes Swedish meatballs, and other surprises too. Always the 8 inch round triple chocolate mousse cake, with dark, milk and white chocolate, decorated for the holiday. Also, coffee, tea, pumpkin and apple pie, a la mode with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, if you like that…

Preceding, a platter of crudité, with dipping ranch dressing, cheeses cubed, olives, gherkins, because the feast is waiting to be served up, upon arrival, with an over-busy kitchen, and many hands, all eager to help. Also, because the family is partially Italian, we have the nice meats out on a platter too: prosciutto, capicola, salami, etc. Reminds me of Roma in all her splendor, at the St. Regis Grand Rome Hotel, with its sumptuous breakfast buffet daily…only this home is my family, cousins, with love, working their butts off, to make us feel welcome, and loved too. A different feeling of love, and thanksgiving, from my soul. My favorite feeling of the holidays, which is otherwise quite barren, in that I have no other blood kin alive anymore, and a lack of children as well, except for these cousins, who have been a highlight through the years for me, but they are awaiting moving down south, in some few years, because of retirement, and the children’s college graduations, and then there is no need for this house in cold West Orange, New Jersey.

And then Thanksgiving will be forever altered to nothingness. But we have today, and for this, we are thankful. I bring with me a friend who also has no viable family to spend the holiday with, and who feels welcomed and comfortable with my family, because she fits in. We are all glad she is with us.

And this is the real curse of having major holes in a life quilt: that the years that would be necessary to find and hook a mate, when one is still fertile, are long past. Doing professional things, volunteering, caregiving, being trapped in a poor life, with danger, health problems encroaching, criminals, threats, not having the plenty that is necessary for emotional security, anger, violence, just everything negative. There was no space for finding that mate that I wanted, and now miss every single day, even while I give thanks for the considerable changes, and the life I do have.

I remind people with losses that you need to count your blessings every day. No one gets everything they want in life. But some people and things loom larger than others. And the losses are more poignant at the holiday season, while others gather by the dozens, and my own family is small, and growing physically distant, with no one else to replace them, going forward. I would have been a real kick ass wife and mom, and it’s a large waste that I don’t get to wear those hats in this life. But I remind myself that my friends are extended family, and they count, them, and all 10 0f their sons and daughters that I have adopted symbolically. And this is my fate, and has to be enough, because it’s all I’m getting. I make my rounds, toast and give thanks, and remind others to do the same.

Be good and do good, for others. Your reward is in so doing, as you know you have a grand purpose, just as you are, alone at the holidays, but also not so.

Cruising Lover

At 47th-50th St, up against a pillar on the platform, my lover presses me, obliviously

to the multitudes of commuters all round. He knows I like the pressure and the PDA,

though this goes further than that. His hands are in my long hair, luxurious blonde locks,

as he kisses me, yes, even tongue kissing, with his hips against mine, so we are shrouded in a raincoat, but I feel him, and it’s hot, really hot, because I know people are watching us, and thinking how disgusting, because we are in our 50’s now, not 20 somethings that people would just walk away, and think crazy horny kids…

Because I was that girl on the platform that you saw, aged 25, doing the same thing, but then it was almost acceptable, or even ignored, because people know 20 somethings are just very hot for sex, and that’s kind of universal, unless you have had a major trauma.

But it’s even better now, because mid 50’s, it’s definitely NOT acceptable. You should know better, that people can’t stand the concept of their parents doing the nasty. But we do, and we do it way better, because it’s a rarity, to find someone on your wavelength

And we have had lots of practice, and we know what we like, and we’re better listeners, and we aim to please our lover, because he’s liking the forbidden aspect too. You have to catch them in the availability window: between spouses, or else you are verboten, whorish, vixen, who dangles concert tickets between lusciously heavy breasts, upthrusted in half laced blue midnight bra, showing nipples proudly, for his hungry gaze and more….

And his wildest dreams are laid out, planned, plotted, both in secret and in public, because now unencumbered by marital ties, he is free, and so am I, happily free, and drinking wine or whisky, choose your poison, dancing, living, loving, endlessly, screaming when the time comes, both of us, YES!!!! For we were made to be one, and so we are, finally…

And he throws me in the suite in the bed, on the European cruise, and we are so well suited, so hungry, so endlessly creative, that there isn’t enough time left in this life to do all I want to do with him, there, in the bed, in the soaking tub, jacuzzi jets, naked, almond oil, bubbles, thick towels, not needed for long, continued in the king bed, kisses, oh thousands of kisses, on his lips, his mounds, his very body, hunting around the needle point, where his desire is concentrated, and I know more, of erogenous zones, than he even imagines, but he can lead me too, if he wants, if he likes what he sees and hears, my moans, involuntary…

Because my mouth is not the only thing that expresses love. You can hear it if you listen carefully, in the closed compartment aboard the cruise ship, at sea, just him and me, and ecstasy….never ending, but for breaks of food, because we know after orgasm, we are in fact hungry, like a wolf. And I will give him everything he has ever wanted, but no former lover would dare. for I am woman, and you can hear me ROAR! Yes, quite loudly.

He will die from me, but happily. There is no turning back, once we get on that ship, beginning at Rockefeller Center, NYC. And I won’t kill him with kindness, but instead lust, fulfilled a thousand ways to Sunday!

Red Hot Lava Desire

O Pleasure, where is thy sting? For thou art lovely and sought after, but cumbersome!

We crave it, incessantly; seek it in other forms easily purchased: tickets, chocolate, food, sex toys, hands, massage, beastly art, leather, catacombs filled with skeletons and dragons…writing phantasmagorical nightmares, a fiendish pleasure, whoops!

We seek mates, knowing at some point, the pleasure wears off in the mists of commonplace rituals…and then we go elsewhere in thought, in body, in bordellos, in any place that is unfamiliar, and therefore pleasurable again.

See a beautiful woman or a worked out 6 pack abs fireman, pose on the Las Vegas Strip,

take a pic, as if they are yours, but only for a price, a pic and a dream…but of course there are whorehouses for women’s desires too, though plainly fewer, due to social conditioning…lace, red roses, desire dripping, a cornucopia of flesh, everywhere, taking off clothes with our eyes, secretly…tutus with tulle, g strings, upthrusted breasts in beautiful lingerie, I can conjure up a thousand goodies for you with my words, but that’s not the object of our desire.

We WANT the real thing, and when we deliver, it will be like Mount Kilauea going wild, with the lava red hot, flowing, like vaginal juices, endlessly, with steam and beautiful red fire…flying over and in, sipping up and drowning in the saliva and juice that you know you want, in ever increasing quantity, with new bodies, new organs, new screams!

Be careful what you wish for. You may get burnt. Those of you with your legs tightened up by virtue of matrimony and social convention. You gave up your freedom for companionship. Hope it worked out to your liking. No goodies anymore for you.

Kavanaugh vs. Ford: SCOTUS

These times are a consternation! POTUS stands by his nominee to the SCOTUS, Brett Kavanaugh, even though public allegations have been brought by one Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, regarding drunken attempted rape when she was 15 and he 17 years old.

Another drunken friend, Mark Judge was in the room, at the time of the alleged incident. Mr. Judge is keeping mum about it, though he released a statement about forgetting from so long ago. Without his testimony, Ford will be up against Kavanaugh, a la he said, she said, where it is clear that the public backing of a man of supposed high morals and good examples in the years since will trump the lady’s allegations.

It is simply the bias of men vs women in the theater of politics, yet again. In 1991, Anita Hill brought sexual allegations against SCOTUS nominee Clarence Thomas, to no effect, because Thomas had the upper hand in the mind of the President, and a distinguished legal career backing him up. We who watched that testimony avidly then, remember the body language, the testimony of sexual details, the physical disgust…but when a woman goes against such august men, they do so at their own peril.

THE TRUTH DOES NOT MATTER!! It is a very perilous thing when all you need is a powerful man or men, of the male dominated Senate Judiciary Committee, of which 17 of 21 people sitting are male, and men protect their own, making snickering remarks behind closed doors, as if these allegations were nothing! Boys will be boys, because how the hell can you hold a man on such behavior, WHEN HE WAS DRUNK?? Any lawyer will say unreliable witness, now add on 36 years to the alleged incident…and silence from the only person in the room, as to what actually happened.

Historical note: When Barack Obama was POTUS, he nominated Judge Merrick Garland to the SCOTUS, but the Senate would not deliberate on this nominee, for political reasons, in order to prevent the President from having another judge on the High Court. There were several months to go before the POTUS was leaving office. BUT NOW, that same Senate is rushing to get Kavanaugh on the SCOTUS, even with this ominous cloud hanging over his head. SHUT UP! GET HIM IN! GIVE THE LADY ACCUSER A PODIUM TO HANG HERSELF ON, SO WE CAN CRUCIFY HER PUBLICLY, AHEAD OF THE VOTE!!

The POTUS wants to hear this lady’s testimony without distractions like an investigation by a supposedly impartial FBI, because he already knows how it will go. The bias is in favor of Kavanaugh, no matter what position this Dr. Blasey Ford holds now. And in the lead up to testimony, Dr. Ford gets death threats, against her and her own children! They must flee their own home! Yeah, the rule of law is in effect in these corrupt United States of America. Bias, prejudice, violence threats, he said, she said…Who wins in this equation of consequence of jurisprudence??

Not even one woman is safe in this country when this travesty is allowed to be perpetuated again. It’s a judicial gag in our collective mouths, the silencing and dismissal of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, like Anita Hill before her. Kavanaugh denies the allegations categorically, but ask yourself this: If this were untrue, why would Dr. Ford submit to a lie detector test, and also endanger herself and her family for going against an admittedly powerful man? Is her account of what happened to be dismissed merely for its content or its timeliness? What would make it real? Does any woman’s opinion count in the end? I think that Kavanaugh is clearly a shoo in for the SCOTUS, like Clarence Thomas, who they couldn’t touch either, on the testimony of Anita Hill.

It is a disgrace. Youthful shenanigans it wasn’t. A crime it was. Delay the nomination! Due process is a right to all of us, in that vaunted Constitution that Judges are sworn to protect. Yeah, right.

While you’re at it, subpoena the only witness, Mark Judge. Only you won’t, because  that poisons the waters for the SCOTUS nominee. The decision has already been made, no matter what Dr. Ford says.

Success in Life

When you have a child with a spouse, under inauspicious circumstances, like trying to escape a very restrictive home environment, with neither freedom nor fun activity, but instead arguments constantly, disrespect between spouses, violence even, deteriorating further, ALL YOU WANT TO DO IS ESCAPE THAT PRISON! Now this is your backdrop for your own entrance into a marriage that was ill conceived from the get go. You only had this example to use also in your choice for a spouse.

One goal: have a child, or several. Make sure there is sufficient money coming in for the support of said child, and spouse. That is it. Your sole criterion. Escape dungeon of parents who do not listen to you as you wail about the injustice of only marriage for sexual expression, and no other outlet, ever. And then of course, in those days, only heterosexual marriage, to boot. What if you were gay? Nope, no outlet for that. It was 1963, and the sexual revolution was about the birth control pill, not other sexual activity. Women who slept with anyone other than a spouse were considered whores then. Men were given a free pass, however, by themselves. Double standard.

Jerry met Harriett on a double date. Both came into this arrangement with the aforementioned circumstances. Jerry didn’t know Harriett had a child already out of wedlock, given up for adoption 6 years before. Jerry was the closeted gay guy, all through his life, he kept it mum, but it reared its ugly head, to the detriment of that spouse and that eventual child. Never honest, never happy, never free, to express himself, he went berserk, in his 40’s, because you can’t fit a rectangle into a square. And they were really bad for each other, with life perspectives in conflict. Always violence, always disrespect, always that one girl watching, crying, absorbing the trauma, without any known recourse elsewhere. And these were her example for the future as well. What future??

I never had a chance at romantic success really. A wonder that I was able to be successful at several professions even: stockbroker, teacher, registered nurse, property manager, event coordinator, writer, travel photographer, name it. Yes, many hats worn. Even if I never sold a single stock to anyone, it still mattered later, when I was able to use the knowledge for myself, and to do better for people all around me as well. The success I have today is a reflection of all I did before, leading up to this point. So yes, success delayed, but real.

My father had only two criteria for success for me: that I support myself without any need from him or the family and that I marry and have children of my own. If I failed at these things, it was because I was set up from the beginning with very dire environment and bad genetics to boot. Being the only child of such a marriage, it was no chance from the beginning, to have such success. Bad coping mechanisms became the order of the day, and they became ingrained. It was clear I would need therapy to sort it out, but due to the inevitable divorce of my parents, and subsequent poverty that resulted from that, and my mom taking up with a drunk boyfriend, for 20 years, well, it went from bad to worse. Secrets and lies were the currency we dealt with there, trapped in irony and penury. There is a relationship between the life you get, and the life you grew up in.

I never had a chance. I was overly sensitive as well. Writing became a refuge. A way to deal publicly with trauma,  and hope it helps someone else see a different way. It became clear that dad was also a narcissist, in his narrow viewpoint of what my success was. Nothing I did was ever enough. Criticism all through, amplified by my growing body, not by pregnancy, but maladaptive coping by eating too much. Not enough happiness. Fat is proportional to how happy you are. But at least I finally understand as I wind down my years on Earth. I can give a life report to the elders who came before me, once on the Far Side, the other world.

I know that I did succeed in all the life ways that matter, not just those 2 criteria. I have decided to be the opposite of what my parents showed me, in terms of the bad things anyway. I do good for everyone around me and treat everyone fairly, the way I want to be treated. That is the true measure of success! AND I laugh often and revel in the joy of others too, not just myself. Can’t argue with that. I am fortunate. And the changed life is one I built as well, by business decisions I made, with my cousins. My education has been quite diverse, which was fortuitous. Everything was made use of, MBA and MA training, hard work, persistence, loyalty, prodigious amounts of love, not bottled up!

 

And the footnote: though not married, well, really a lot of romantic freedom, getting my freak on! That means not a lot of boredom, folks!

The Silence of Rabid Intensity

My spirit is screaming for a rap now, but silently, within. Because I hail from the Bronx, the Boogie Down, where hip hop was born, and so was I, plus a twisted juggernaut of wonderful people who are still here, hanging around my life. We are the tough stuff, because only the strong survive! Where housing is a collection of mold, plaster scraping off walls and ceilings, leaks ad infinitem, toppling the ceiling, but with no warning, so your head might be caught in the chunks of plaster and heavy laden debris…And the roaches, waterbugs and mice take up residence, without paying rent, uninvited! And you scream for a pet, or a brother or a sister, and the only substitute you can find is your lovely friends you make at school, but they are constantly moving too, from apartment to apartment, because of drunk, violent boyfriends, or worse, stepfathers, who beat your mom, or even you, or knock your teeth out. And when you start to develop curves, all these men look at you like you are some tasty meat, out on a spit, and that attention feels good, because you have been starved for it, all your live long childhood. Because kids should be seen and not heard, and you were even told that!!

 

I could tell you a tale of this childhood, but you get a picture already, and it ain’t pretty. And you are a lookout for your dad coming home, while mom is banging the drunk boyfriend, and you know that, out in the living room, under some covers on the floor, watching the telly, trying to be not seen and not heard, both. And because one can extrapolate that the marriage is dead, even if it hasn’t been declared null and void yet, you play your role, even though your only offered escape is to go to college, some years away, and you are in the house with this drunk, and mom doesn’t have sufficient money to keep the house going, so that’s power to this abusive relationship, even with begging monthly to parents, an aunt, and this boyfriend, plus the alimony, no child support, because dad screwed mom in the divorce, and that meant me too, because I stayed with her. Even though I was innocent in all this, a mere 13 when dad left.

 

So when you look at me, aged midlife, weighing too much, and in therapy probably forever, it makes sense, because these wounds do not heal fully, and they had already cut deep. And the upshot of it was I honored my own obligations to these parents, even though they didn’t quite do that for me. It is a tapestry that they wove around me, and my life is the remnant of that upbringing. I never had a chance to live the promised land, say with normal parents, unconditional love, a man who would accept me, really, not just meat on a skewer…or even liken me to a toasted marshmellow, sticky sweet, and gooey, and all too willing to melt, for the right person, who never came. I am literally the Brazilian steakhouse BBQ, endless meat coming to your table, succulent, tasty, but when the diner is full, the card gets turned down, and the diner departs. What should the meat say at that point? Glad you enjoyed me?? Now get the hell out of here!

 

I am flesh and blood, created for more than this fate. I AM NOT MEAT! Any more than any African American is a dog, because no one should be compared thus. Have respect for your fellow being, and recognize no one can judge, because no one has walked my own road. I join hands with all who have been shut up, and victimized, and belabored with mental illness, violence, threats, poor food, even worse housing, poverty, yelling, baseball bats, slapping, kicking, punches, name it! Such children never had a chance to live the good life, because they were merely silent witnesses to carnage. Screaming silently in a vast void, to anyone who would listen. Was there anyone out there?