Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Adulting 101: Fixing Up the House

I hadn't received any more cancer bills in recent months, and we had finally had to put in new roof.  We decided to do a little remodeling.  Larry wanted to get rid of the carpet, since it was 15 years old.  What about laminate flooring? I was fine with that.  I wanted to paint.  Off to Home Depot we went.

Home Depot has the paint in the front of the store.  They do this because they know that potential customers will be immediately distracted by the idea of painting a variety of colors all over their walls.  And I was indeed distracted, my eyes aglow at the idea of Translucent Silk(TM) covering my walls.  I reasoned with Larry that we hadn't painted the house since we moved in, and we were due. He was unconvinced, until I pointed to a big sign. PAINT SALE.  That was all the convincing that Larry needed. We grabbed some paint chips to bring home to aid our selection.

"But we are here for the flooring," he refocused me.  So off we went, past the gorgeous fridges that beckoned us alluringly with their ice makers.  We found the flooring and spent several minutes standing in front of a number of samples. Then we found a guy to talk to about the flooring, and we bothered him long enough to get an estimate as to cost.  After a rather prolonged argument about color, we chose some samples, and took them home. The next day, Larry and I were back, our decisions made.  We got the flooring ordered, installation set up, then purchased painting supplies. We felt very grown up. 

This is what homeowners do. When you live in an apartment, someone else takes care of the run of the mill things such as mowing the lawn, spraying for bugs, clear a clogged drain.  When you own a home, there's nobody to take care of the field of grass growing in your back yard but you.  And home ownership does not come with a lawn mower or a pack of llamas.  Or rakes.  Or those covers you have to buy to keep your outside pipes from bursting in a freeze.  When the showers need to be caulked, or the toilet overflows and the water leaks downstairs into the pantry, you're the one who has to take care of it.  Larry is much less likely to remove a finger while using power tools, so he gets the fun job.    

This is part of being an adult.  You get to figure out what you need and purchase it or hire someone and pay them to do it.  You become a problem solver by default. Your parents won't be there to take care of it.  

So probably a good idea to start practicing problem solving now.  Start small, like choosing a coffee maker.  Go from there.  You can do it.  

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

I Was A Sexist Pig

I grew up fighting to be treated as an equal to men.  Not actually fighting, because that would be stupid. But I argued and cajoled and did whatever I could to be perceived as equal. I had quite a chip on my shoulder about it, as did a whole lot of women.   My fight was with the world, and I was determined to be as good or better than any man. If women weren't supposed to be in the locker room, you better believe I was IN that locker room, naked people be damned. This behavior only increased when I went to college in Texas and realized that if I wanted to date anyone I would have to "look" the part and act as unintelligent as possible. This was not a good fit for me.  If I could have persuaded somebody to let me be a bouncer at a honky-tonk dive, the movie Roadhouse would have looked very different. 

And I bought this book. I found this in a box in a closet I never open, and I am embarrassed.  I used to say things like "Men are idiots".  I think I even patted one on the head and told him he was a good boy. Okay, not just the one.  I thought it was funny then, but now it makes me cringe.  Because I was so busy thinking about my own equality that I forgot to think about others. It makes me want to curl into a ball, that I behaved that way.  Men are not dogs, or objects.  They are people.  If I want to be about equality for all, my actions should reflect that. 

With age comes wisdom, thank goodness. Equality is not just about me.  I try to treat others as I would like to be treated, but I don't demand it.  The other day my son and I had a discussion about the term "drama queen", and why using it might not be okay anymore.  Drama doesn't seem to have much to do with whether the person is male or female.  Zane pointed out that I had referred to him as a drama queen when he was younger, and I apologized to him on the spot. 

I am a work in progress, but that doesn't mean I can't do better.   

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Put On Your Big Girl Panties

Some of Trump's supporters are hoping to have some of the votes from the Electoral College tossed out this week, because they do not want to face the very scary idea that someone else won the election.  Change is scary and most people are terrified. They want things to stay the same, especially if their behavior and actions were dictated by the idol.  Trump's toddler antics gave some people the idea that it was okay to be a jerk, and now there will be consequences, some severe consequences. 

The flag of the Confederacy was banned in several places, and statues to Confederate soldiers are coming down, or being moved.  It has always seemed bizarre that statues of the losers of a war would mean so much to people that they are willing to do violence over it, but people are weird.  The idea that a change is necessary is beyond the mental limits of some people, and those of us who have moved on need to understand that.  We don't have to accept it, but we need to understand their fear of admitting mistakes and leaving the old ways behind.  Old dogs can learn new tricks, and if they can't they get left behind.  

I actually feel sorry for these individuals.  Putting faith in an idol like Trump, a dude from an 80s time capsule, does not seem like a good idea. Neither does worshiping a flag from more than a century ago.  Idols have an expiration date.  The trouble with presenting yourself as an idol is that eventually, people figure out that you're not "the" anymore.  Once that shine wears off, it's time to go do something else.  Nothing sacred about that. But admitting that somebody else won the election, participating in a new government that is not mired in hatred and narcissistic bigotry, just plain terrifies these men and women.  I don't know, maybe Trump has naked pictures of Josh Hawley and he's not afraid to release them to the press. I think all of it is stupid and unproductive. 

The election is over, the people have spoken, PERIOD.  End of story. Government servants elected by the people should do what the people have rightfully asked them to do. If they aren't willing to be the voice of the people they have no business in the legislature. Remember that golden idol the Jews made in the Ten Commandments, while Moses was getting the word from God? Nobody worships that cow anymore. It's time to say 'buh-bye' to Trump.  Time to let that flag go and move on. Eat your pancakes.  Change is here, whether you like it or not.  

Might as well put on your big girl panties and deal with it.