Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tea Parties, Funny Mothers & Poop

April 15th usually invokes the usual moans and groans about paying too much taxes and long lines at the post office. But today was going to be different. Ordinary citizens (I think the government is calling us right-wing radicals now - how exciting) like myself were getting together for a Tea Party (Taxed Enough Already). In over 2000 cities, citizens (liberals, conservatives, moderates) would be gathering to protest the out of control spending our congress has adopted and to make our voices heard by those who think we work for them instead of the other way around.

I was so excited. For years I have been growing angrier everyday about the direction our country is taking. Now I could finally do something. Protest, yeah!! Of course, I use protest in the loosest sense. This party would not be a hippy peace march or some radical, left-wing, "burn your bra" type of affair. This would be more of a Patriotic Picnic. You know, say the pledge of allegiance, listen to some speeches made by local celebrities while everyone is polite and orderly. I wasn't expecting loud chanting, police in riot gear or tear gas - something I think my mother was expecting.

The 15th had finally arrived. I dropped my children off at their midweek "Sunday school" class and rushed to downtown Wheeling, WV for the Tea Party. I parked 4 blocks away and sprinted in the rain with my little American flag waving. When I got down to Heritage port I was delighted to see 1000 to 1500 people gathered waiting for the festivities to commence. There were SAHMs, 70-year old women with signs, working class men and women, even children, etc... you know right wing, "overthrow the government" type radicals.

We said the Pledge of Allegiance, sang the "Star Spangled Banner" and did some whoops and hollers as my good friend (an IT specialist from Wheeling) started pumping the crowd up. And then the cell phone call came... my 5-year old was suffering from a stomach ache and could I please come and get him. Oh, the disappointment...

I made the trek back to my car and rushed to the church to pick up my children. It turns out my son, well, to be delicate, wanted to use the bathroom facilities at home to take care of business. I missed the speeches, the rest of the whoops and hollers and the chance to mingle with other like-minded Americans, but I was there for a moment and it was exciting.

I guess I see my detour from the Tea Party as sort of a metaphor. We can keep fighting (peacefully) back, but congress is just going to keep putting poop in our way.

On a funny note, on my way back to my car I ran into my good, Obama-supporting, liberal friend. She asked me if I had a good time at the Tea Party and then we made a lunch date. I love America!

Shock & Awe

My brother sent me this video this morning. Watch it first and then I will comment.

As I was watching the interview with Susan Boyle before her performance I was thinking she just must be just awful - I mean she's 47 (looks like 57), she's never been married, she lives with several cats and now, all of the sudden, she is some undiscovered talent? Gimme a break. Randy loves a good joke, so this gal must be the most horrible of the horribles. The audience was laughing at her, the judges looked skeptical - although I'll hand it to Simon he is always professional before the performance and then rips the contestant apart AFTERwards.

But then, she opened her mouth and the most amazing sound emerged. I started to cry. I was bawling!! I cried because it was beautiful; I cried because the previously nasty audience was cheering; I cried because Simon and Pierce, who are the biggest cynics in all of England, were smiling and cheering for this "cheeky" woman. I cried because I was one of the cynics who was about to eat her hat!

We go through our lives thinking it's too late to change; it's too late to realize dreams; it's too late late to be successful. Susan Boyle proves that it's not too late. Bloody fantastic!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Packrats

It’s springtime (well it's technically springtime, but it is snowing today) and it’s time to clean out those closets and purge!! I love throwing things out – it’s so cleansing and freeing. But alas, it’s not so easy when you live with PACKRATS!

I come from a long line of purgers. My mother is a purger. My grandmother was purger. My sister is the champion of all purgers. She moved from Richmond, VA to Salt Lake City, Utah and sold EVERYTHING including her CDs movies, furniture and a car. She is my idol on simple living! So good “clean” fun for my family has always been organizing that dreaded junk door or donating a garbage bag full of clothes to Goodwill. So what’s the problem – I married a packrat and gave birth to packrat children.

My husband has t-shirts from the 80’s that he will never wear again, but we have to keep them because they have sentimental value. Some of the shirts you can’t even read what is on them anymore, but they remind him a great time in his life, so every few years we pull out the t-shirt box and reminisce. He has a baseball cap for everyday of the month (he doesn’t wear baseball caps), but I can’t throw them away either – he might need a baseball cap.

My daughter inherited the same illness. She brings home mounds of busy work from school that she insists on keeping because they represent her work. It’s hard to explain to a 7 year old that it’s the PROCESS not the PRODUCT involved in school work. In my organized fashion I have bought a set of boxes in which “special” papers or “examples” of her school work can be stored, but she still insists that a general note from the school regarding the book fair needs to go in there as well.

There are theories regarding extreme hoarding that states that the hoarder has a hard time making decisions so they don’t throw things away because they feel it will be the wrong decision. I don’t think that applies to my family. Maybe my husband and daughter are more tender-hearted and sentimental about objects, while I tend to be more sentimental about, well, ... nothing. So I will put on my understanding wife and mommy hat and respect their apparent need to keep every little scrap or nothing. I’ll sneak stuff out of the house when they aren’t looking.