Fashion Police

A topic has come up today that I feel the need to speak on. I realize not everyone will agree, but again, this is my opinion. Today I will become the fashion police.

I have literally been many sizes. When in high school I weighed roughly 120 pounds at my largest. I got married and the weight crept up some. As I approach menopause we won’t even talk about what the scale is showing as it is far too depressing. That being said, I have had vastly varied wardrobes. When I was thin, I could get away with a pencil skirt and high heels. The older I got though, the more elastic in the waist became important or maybe a fit and flare type of style. Now I won’t even consider it unless it is longer than my knees and full/flowing.   My point is that my style changed as my body type changed. There have been times when I might have been able to tuck a shirt in and look okay. At this point in my life I wear nothing that requires tucking because I have a belly and it doesn’t look good. My inner voice kicks in and says, “Aw nah, Girl…you can’t wear that!”

When someone says that not just anyone can wear a certain style, it isn’t them being mean. This is them trying to HELP you. If I know I don’t look good in something, why on God’s green earth would I wear it outside of my home? Do I want people to laugh at me? Do I want to have a label placed on me regarding my inability to dress well? NO! I want to portray a good image that welcomes people and doesn’t offend them. I want to not be self-conscious because I am not wearing something as it should be worn. I hear the argument that it is comfortable and who cares what people think. I just have a problem with that. Be comfortable…by all means…but find something that flatters your body type. For my friend down the road, yoga pants may be a perfectly acceptable thing to wear to the store. For me, it would not be. However, I do have some work out pants that I can wear with longer shirts and not look too bad. That’s still something comfy that isn’t going to cause years of therapy for the folks seeing me in the ice cream isle. If you have a large belly, don’t wear a short belly shirt. That is NOT attractive. I don’t care how confident you are, that’s just not a good look. No, I’m not “fat shaming.” I, myself, am not thin. The point is to know what looks good and bad on you and dress accordingly.   When I see someone wearing something just awful I immediately feel pity for that person and assume they are clueless. If I am trying to get a job or represent my family to the public I am going to dress in a way that won’t embarrass me or the people I represent. To wear something that doesn’t work just because it is comfortable and not care at all says “nobody else matters” to me. It says that other people are not anywhere near as important to you as you are so their opinion of you is irrelevant.

Now I’m going to discuss the repercussions I’m sure this post will have. There will be people telling me that they should be free to wear whatever they want, because girl power. They will say that I’m fat shaming or thin shaming or some such garbage. They will tell me that we shouldn’t judge someone based on the clothes that they wear. Maybe, but you are judged on how you wear those clothes. I don’t care how much you spent on your outfit. I don’t care if it came from Dillard’s or the Goodwill nearest you. What I do care about is whether it is presentable to be seen in. We need to stop being a nation of whiny babies doing whatever we please and getting upset if someone else doesn’t like it. There is this thing called “social grace” and it has disappeared from our society. Care about yourselves more than that and if you don’t then don’t be surprised or upset if you end up in the next edition of “People of Walmart.” I’m just sayin…

No Offense

This week a friend of mine posted a news article that stated there are those in Georgia who are actually trying to get the Confederate generals sand blasted off of Stone Mountain. At first I chuckled but then I realized it was serious. When is this going to stop? Whether you agree with the Civil War or not, you have to admit it took sill to carve that. It is a work of art no matter how you slice it. Are we censoring art now because it “offends?” If that is the case, then atheists have the right to demand all paintings of Christ be destroyed. If that is the case, then anyone with small children can request that the nudes that have been painted by countless classic artists be destroyed. There are many pieces of art that I find disturbing and are therefore offended by, but I exercise something known as common sense and I just don’t go see those pieces. The park is operated by donations…not tax payer dollars, but even if it were…there are countless museums that contain pieces of history that offend people. This is not speaking well to the character of those offended. They are showing themselves to be whiny brats and not grown adults.

There are many things that offend me and a plethora of other people. For instance, I’m deeply offended by atheists and their view of my religion. There are cartoons out there and whole TV shows that do little else besides make horrible fun of people with faith and morals. Perhaps we should pull those immediately from the air. Personally, I just don’t watch those shows. I figure God will take care of all of that in His due time. I’m offended by the lyrics to most rap songs. I think calling your girl a “b” and using the “n” word every other sentence is offensive. I’m offended that you are lying to your women about how fly you are. Maybe we should stop allowing rap music to be sold. Heaven knows it has a poor effect on today’s youth, encouraging folks to be ganstas. I’m deeply offended by porn in all its many varieties. It offends me that women are looked upon as objects as a means to an end and that people of my own gender are actually willing participants. I’m offended that so many marriages end in divorce because people are taught today that if it doesn’t suit you just leave or that there are so many fish in the sea so why get tied down to a lobster? Mostly, I’m offended that so many are offended so easily.

I even heard a comedian recently talking about how difficult it is to be a comedian in today’s society. In the past the more irreverent you were, the funnier it was. Now you can’t talk about certain subjects for fear your audience will be offended and stop buying your stuff.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I think it is time we all settle down, pull up our big kid undies and get on with our lives. Stop worrying about things offending you and worry about real world problems, like who’s on Jimmy Fallon tonight and how much of the Pizza Hut cookie pizza you can actually eat before you get really sick. Those things are better than yoga pants and a big t-shirt after a whole day in control top pantyhose. No offense… I’m just sayin…

Thoughts for July

  1. Why is it that I keep seeing a single shoe on the side of the road? It isn’t a pair of shoes…just one that has been randomly abandoned. Is it a “thing” to throw your friends’ shoe out the window for some reason? Did the aliens come and only take that person minus a shoe so they can remember where to return them? Do that many people lose a foot in a tragic accident and no longer have the need for the one?
  2. Why was country music so depressing back in “the day?” I have never been a huge fan, but I enjoy the sound from the classic artists sometimes. In listening to some of these oldies at my dad’s this weekend I was struck by how many of these songs were about cheating spouses, loss of loved ones or losing a trailer…no lie. I mean, didn’t they have great crops or a sunshine day or the fish biting especially well? Come on…
  3. Why don’t we have more used book stores? I know of 3 in our area, but there are multiple actual book stores. Do people keep them all or give them to charity? I keep some of mine, but the vast majority I take back to the used book store when I’m done for trade-in credit. I try never to be without something interesting to read.
  4. This one is more of an observation/rant than a question…Why is it that nurse techs make so little? I realize, as some will argue, that it doesn’t take someone with specialized knowledge to change a diaper or clean up a messy room, but I would argue that it does. It also takes commitment and a genuine love of people. I mean, I have been watching for 7 months now the techs take such good care of my mom. Recently, when they were short-handed due to illness, I thought I could jump in and help out by taking care of her one night. I mean, I have seen it done a thousand times, helped on many occasions and I understand the general logistics of getting this done. I was very wrong, however. What the tech could do in 5 minutes took me 20 because I was not strong enough to move her. They lift her up like it is nothing. Granted, I’m not exactly working out every day, but some of these ladies are tiny that do this. I am constantly impressed by the strength they have, the knowledge they show and the sincere love they have for these people. I mean, sure, your average CPA has to go to school forever, but could he or she correctly change an adult diaper after a dinner of Brussel sprouts and pinto beans? That requires great skill and a lot of commitment. I’m just sayin…

Well, Shoot

Okay, as promised, here is more on the topic of gun control. I’m not one of those shoot em up types. I don’t really get all giddy when I see some fancy assault rifle, etc. I do, however, like a big, powerful pistol. They are very accurate and have less kick than the lighter weight versions. I have been shooting targets since I was ten years old. I was taught safety and the proper way to handle a firearm. I was taught very important basics like stance and how to lock and unlock the safety, etc. Because of this, I have a very healthy respect for guns. I have seen the power they pack and what they can do to a target. I know they are not toys. Although I have not officially taken my daughter to the range, she does have a bb gun that she shoots targets with. She has seen me practice with my pistol and she too has seen what they do. She is very respectful of them too as a result.

I am not attached to just firearms. I also like knives. I have many, all over my house. They are very useful. I’m always having to get into packaging with them or trimming a thread on something, etc. I’ve also been taught the proper way to use one in self-defense should I ever need to.

If someone is breaking into my house and their intent is to do harm to me or my family and then steal what they can (all I can say there is God bless them) then I would be much more able to defend my daughter and myself with a gun than a knife. Why? Because most men are stronger than I am…heck, most women are stronger than I am. If I go after someone who is in my child’s room and my intent is to get them to leave her alone, they are going to take one look at me with my knife and they will laugh. If, however, I walk into her room with the .44 long colt my guess is they might take me seriously. If there is more than one assailant I am much better prepared to stop harm from coming to me or my daughter with a gun than a knife. Even if the intruder is armed only with a baseball bat, they have a much better shot at hurting us than I would with just a knife for protection.

I realize the argument is also put forward that aside from needing one for protection, why do we need assault rifles, etc.? Here is my answer…if you think for one moment that there are not countries or individuals who would love to bring the US down then you are sadly mistaken. We have people from all countries who call us infidels and want us dead. What do you think they might try if they realize that Americans no longer are able to arm themselves? You might not like that “bubba” has that AK47 or whatever, but I can promise you…if the country were to be attacked that Bubba would be your best friend. Yeah, it is irritating to listen to someone practice with things like that (and living in the country, you hear a lot of it) but if we are ever in trouble I know who I’m going to run to for help. Not the guy down the road who thinks guns are bad…the bubba who is armed to the teeth. A country who only allows their military to have arms is prime to be overtaken or to overtake their own citizens. I realize there are other civilized societies who have banned weapons. They aren’t generally hated in the first place though. People from elsewhere actually HATE us because of our lifestyles, etc. I would think we are far more enticing to be invaded than some other, smaller countries because of the statement it would make. Don’t be naive folks…

Lastly, I will reference an article wherein the results were given for a recent study done by the CDC upon Obama’s request. This study found that most felons got their guns from “informal sources” and that “stolen guns account for only a small percentage of guns used by convicted criminals.” Also, it noted that the majority of deaths caused by guns are suicide. This accounted for 61% of the firearm deaths. It listed that the deaths that were not suicide related were greatly affected by “diminished economic opportunities, high levels of family disruption and low levels of community participation.” That sounds like a societal problem to me…not a gun problem. You see, kids used to be more involved in school and church, but that’s not cool anymore. Now when they don’t have parents at home to tend to them they end up in trouble with gangs and/or drugs. Around where I live there are a ridiculous number of teens that end up addicted to various drugs available to them or they are smoking and “hanging out” with their hoodlum friends. Where do they get it? Where are their parents? How do they fill their days? Nobody is addressing this problem. Kids from broken homes are far more likely to get into trouble than kids with both parents present and involved. These kids need direction. They need rules and they need love. Churches are told they can’t come on school property any longer so people who once would have been helping these kids find a place to go after school and become involved are not welcomed. The mentor that many of us had growing up is no longer present because school is no place for God and these people represent Him. That is one more possible connection gone. We do not do any favors to ourselves as a society when we remove God from schools.   We need to get back to community and relationships. We need to CARE about one another again.

You know, smoking kills and wounds more people in the US than gun violence. Smoking is responsible for more than 480,000 deaths per year, including 41,000 from second hand smoke. 17.8% of ALL adults are smokers. In comparison, firearms only accounted for 33,636 deaths last year (including suicides). 48,545 people were poisoned. TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS accounted for 33,804. All this according to the CDC. So, tell me….why aren’t we trying to outlaw cigarettes? Why don’t we rid the nation of anything that could possibly poison someone or get rid of all the cars? WAKE UP!!! Guns are NOT the problem…a society of hooligans is.   I’m just sayin…

References are:

http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/cdc-study-use-firearms-self-defense-important-crime-deterrent

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/injury.htm

Moving Violation

I have been VIOLATED. I don’t know any other way to put it. I’m traumatized for life. Just a warning to my younger audience…this is a more mature topic today.

As many of you know, I’m turning the big 4-0 this year. I’m pretty okay with it actually. I know some folks who were depressed for weeks, but I figure it is a miracle I made it this far, so why not celebrate? Yes, my metabolism is shot. Yes, my joints ache more than they used to. Other than that I figure I’m doing okay. As my mom’s roommate would say, “Did you wake up this morning with air in your lungs? Then it’s a good day. Praise Jesus.” (She is just precious.) I’m a bit off topic now…At any rate, one of the things that goes along with the age is apparently certain medical exams.

Today I went for my annual exam with the “lady doctor.” She checked out all my lady parts and declared me fit for duty. Then she asked me a question I sort of knew was coming, but hoped I’d never hear. “Have you had a mammogram yet?” I told her no, that I had never had one. She then got all happy and said that today was my lucky day. Her scheduler was able to fit me in at their diagnostic center in just 15 minutes. Admittedly, I was as nervous as a bunny on acid, but I figured everybody else does this annually…it can’t be that bad.

It CAN, people…it CAN be that bad. First they bring you in and give you this lush terrycloth robe to put on and then they put you in this waiting room with the zen music playing and the essential oils in the air so you think you are at the spa. Do NOT be fooled. In the next room awaits a torture device the likes of which I had never seen. Oh sure, it all looks so innocuous when you first walk in. Then, as if this is perfectly normal, they take first one then the other and smoosh them beyond anything recognizable. Let me just say…I elected NOT to have this done. There is no history of breast cancer anywhere in my family and if anything bad happens in that area, they can lop those bad boys off. There is no WAY they are doing that to me. Nobody puts the babies in a smoosher.

Also, let’s discuss for a moment the lady running this thing. Nobody should be THAT perky at the prospect of torturing multiple women a day. I think it takes a very unstable person to be able to sleep at night after administering that device for 8 hours a day.

I understand that this procedure saves lives, so before you lecture me on my ignorance just stop right there. You cannot tell me that with the billions of dollars devoted to breast cancer research that they haven’t come up with a MUCH better way to do this. You know what I think? I think some rich drug company executive is sitting on the new procedures laughing at all of us that have to be man-handled to find out what is wrong with us. They are still bitter over the way their exam is conducted. Oh…somebody invaded you…poor little thing. You should see the contraption they use on US every year to check the downstairs. You men know NOTHING of violation.

If this is so important, the least they can do is offer patients some sedation or at the least a few shots of tequila.  If anybody’s going to handle me that roughly, they better ply me with alcohol, have a body like The Rock and a bank account to match. I’m just sayin…

POTUS

As some of you may know, The President was here in our fair city yesterday to speak with residents. What I saw in my Facebook feed was people who were either in awe of him and super excited or people that absolutely hate him and want nothing to do with his visit. There is just no in-between. This led me to wonder why we are so polarized with regards to this man. I, personally, am not a fan. I don’t hate him, but I’m certainly not jumping up and down about him either. I think he is probably a great guy. He appears to be a wonderful father and a good husband so I do respect that about him. He is a truly gifted orator as well and has a gift when it comes to motivating people. The problems I have with him are not about him as a person, but rather with policies and practices that I have to question based on my viewpoints.

The first issue I have is concerning the famous Affordable Care Act. I know some who praise this because now everyone will have coverage. I can understand that from a humanitarian stance. The problem is, instead of taking time to really look at what was needed and to vet it and to get input from both sides of the isle, a policy was forced upon us that those who passed it didn’t even understand, and that greatly affected a large number of people in a somewhat negative way. I think we can all agree that we need healthcare reform. Nobody is really questioning that. The way it was done, however, has not left me feeling warm and fuzzy. People who had policies that they could afford and that they liked were told they would be able to keep those. In reality, however, because those policies didn’t meet all the criteria for what they are “supposed” to have, they were forced to lose those policies and sign up for something else that was prohibitively expensive. I’ve also seen what it has done to the healthcare industry. My doctor, for instance, went out of business because they cut payments to doctors so much that he couldn’t afford to keep staff. Not to mention, what they just won’t cover on some policies. Because doctors are so affected by this, many have refused to take patients with insurance from those exchanges. That has led to a backlog of people needing care, who can’t get in with a doctor for at least a month, causing them to go to the ER with simple ailments. For those of you who don’t know, an ER trip is far more expensive than a doctor trip. The trickle down has been felt by most major medical centers and hospitals also. Many smaller hospitals are forced to align themselves with larger, stronger hospitals and as a result much of what made that hospital special and unique has fallen by the wayside. People have been let go from jobs in these areas because of all of this. Small businesses now forced to provide healthcare coverage have gone out of business in some cases and in many have reduced workers to part time so they don’t pay the benefit. The reason for this isn’t because they are hateful, it is that they can’t possibly afford to stay afloat if they are now expected to dole out hundreds of extra dollars for healthcare coverage on each employee. My company already offered coverage, but now I have to pay the same amount for a plan that has a much higher deductible and I have to pay an extra $100 a month for having my husband on with me. I could go on and on with regard to this topic, but I digress. It just seemed like (from my perspective) a very poorly planned and executed thing that we are now all stuck with.

The second issue I take with him is the way he gets things done. He is supposed to be the transparent president who is a peace maker. What I have seen, however, is a person who doesn’t really care what his opponents think. There is no negotiation or discussion. His way or the highway. It disappoints me.

I’m also very concerned with the way he handles things with regards to the Middle East and terrorism. I understand his desire to be diplomatic and to attempt to keep the peace, but there is a difference between diplomacy and cowing down to other demands. I have seen him directly and openly oppose Israel, one of our strongest allies and (for those of you religious out there) God’s chosen people. If there is one thing I learned from the Bible it is that you don’t oppose God’s chosen. Also, the fact that he has made it okay for families to negotiate with terrorists is absolutely dumbfounding. I DO feel extreme sympathy for the families of hostages. Don’t misunderstand me. My issue is this: Most of these hostages were in those countries of their own free will. Nobody told them they had to go there, it was a choice. They knew the dangers. If they get kidnapped and we pay money to terrorists then 1. We are essentially bankrolling their efforts and 2. They will figure out that it works and do it more often. The way they treat these hostages is deplorable, but better the one hostage than 20.

Next there is the topic of military strategy or lack thereof. Granted, most of America wanted our troops back from Iraq, but the reality is that you can’t go in, completely change the government and way of life of the citizens and then sail off into the sunset. It is necessary to provide support to those people you just liberated from tyranny. If you don’t then you get groups like isis. Whether you agree with the war in the first place or not, this is just the way it is.

This is a sampling of solid reasons why I am not a fan. What I want to do now is open this post up for discussion. I know some of you are extremely proud of him and think he is wonderful. Convince me. One caveat…you can’t use the “first black president” bit. This has to be actual policy that makes you proud. Also remember that this is about our current president. NOT about any who came before him. Only things HE did. I may reserve the option to further question your reasons, but there is to be NO hateful talk or bashing of anyone. I will delete that comment immediately if I see it. I am looking for genuine dialog and for everyone to feel free to defend their stance. GO!