Sunday, August 20, 2017

A Warped Sense of Reality

Sometimes I see things posted to social media and all I can do is shake my head. Sometimes I see an entire string of posts by one person and see that they share all these platitudes that seem to shed light on their personality and how they think. And then, I realize I know this person or people and see that every time they post these things they are the EXACT opposite of how things are.

Today I saw this post shared by someone I know, and if that person really believes this as pertaining to their situation they really have a warped sense of reality.

This year I've opened my home up to others, usually to keep the peace with others in the family, with the idea of helping these people regain a foothold in their lives and get back to taking care of themselves and their immediate family. 3 times I have done this, and 3 times I have failed to accomplish this mission. Maybe it was my fault?

Maybe I failed to realize that an expectation of standards and behavior should not be asked of people who come to live with you. And if they are family then this should definitely be overlooked and all actions by the other party, no matter how detrimental to themselves or their hosts, should be void of consequences. After all, they paid a paltry sum for rent/food, and being adults, or at least nearly of such an age, they should be allowed to act how they want, say what they want, and it should not be considered any of my business. After all I am merely the homeowner who is paying out far more for their needs than they contribute for. I keep the considerations low so that people might be able to have a shot at saving up their money towards embarking on a life of their own.

With one couple, they ran roughshod over us, and pretty much every family member to whom they appealed for help. They burned bridges as they moved from one to the next. Even so, they wanted to go back to where they called home....and yet despite better uses for a few hundred dollars, we bought them the bus tickets to go live their lives elsewhere.
In a matter of weeks they showed back up, with no money and no real plans. I let them live their gypsy lifestyle for a couple weeks, making sure the hardships and disappointments of homelessness sank in really deep. I made the mistake of assuming the lesson had been unforgettably learned. We took the time to get a financial plan and a plan for finishing at least their high school educations at the same time. They got to enjoy the comforts of a shower, a regular bed to sleep on....things we sometimes take for granted.
It worked for awhile....for what gigs a guy with no form of ID can get. Cash paying jobs, so at least he was trying. She stayed at home while we tried to get her mother to help get her forms of ID so she can get a job and register in school.

Everyday, and I mean literally EVERY. DAMN. DAY. They could be heard arguing and fighting like people half their young age. As is my style, I listened, but did not interfere, to let them figure out their differences. After all they are so much 'in love'. Much in the way I see how being 'in love' was taught them by one of their sets of parents.

Eventually, while away for my son's graduation from Basic Training, I learned of my car being stolen right out of my driveway. This is a bit new to me. I'm a very blessed individual in that i can leave my car running in the ghetto and disappear without it getting touched before I come back. Apparently some family who you sacrifice for, aren't quite as smart as those complete strangers who know not to take my ride. When confronted about taking the car by my wife and the implications of joyriding without a license, attitude was given. When the idea of being grounded came about, this 17 year old teenager threatened to move out.  Wrong answer to be giving my wife. Leaving our house because you don't want to follow the rules and believe you shouldn't suffer consequences of illegal acts of wrong doing is no skin off our back. In fact it only serves to make life easier for us.

Fast forward 2 days....I come home from work and am trying to relax for a bit and I hear them fighting. AGAIN. Then I hear the boy state his intentions to leave all the bullshit because it isn't healthy, so he will leave her and move out. At this point i feel the need to intercede. I make sure he understands that given their first foray here being disastrous, that if he decides he is packing up and moving on, there is no coming back. I give him 30 minutes to ponder this and make sure he is very clear in his understanding of what's going to happen. He chooses to leave anyways. I'm left trying to console a crying girl, who hours later is begging me to let him come back, that he didn't mean any of it and was just angry. Naturally at this point I have to let her know that I'm a man of my word and if I just back off every decision I make then my word is essentially worthless and that I can be a simple pushover to the whims of children. So NO, he made his decision and had plenty of time to reason it through before he left. While wear e having this discussion the boy managed to come in through my back door into the house from which he has been told not to return.
At this point I have to question his mental capacity and make him aware that if I lived in some other neighborhood he might have found himself face to face with a double barrel shotgun. Luckily for him i already knew it was him who walked in the back door.

Apparently not kowtowing to the demands of the girl and sending him back out of my house was just completely unreasonable on my part. So much so that if he wasn't allowed back then she was going to leave with him. Again I made sure she understood the ramifications of her actions. I was met with statements about how "he has been there for me when others weren't". Apparently she forgot all the time, money and stress spent by multiple members of the family over the last 6 months or so. I guess since we are family, our loyalty, forgiveness and compassion come at a much cheaper rate that that of someone she hasn't known for very many years and shows no signs of progressing into a responsible adult anytime soon. I do hope, for both their sakes, that this changes very very very soon.

For now they are apparently back to living in a tent on the other side of town. Its sad, but when I was young I was taught that for every choice you make there are rewards or consequences. And one day when you become an adult and move out you can do whatever you want, but you will be responsible for and held accountable to those decisions. I hope they realize in their late teens that they are no different from the rest of us in that their decisions can affect them. I really do hope they figure out how to become productive people. Doing so would put them light years ahead of their parental units, in my opinion. They just wont be figuring out that lesson within my home.

Back to the quote above, I'm sure stories will be told about how oppressive we were and how we kicked them out. Already heard about that last one being told by one of the girls parents after she chose to move out to chase her true love, also an unproductive member of society, ignoring the needs of their kids and failing to take any responsibility for themselves. But if they want to look at the reality of the situation:

Your family didn't turn their backs on you, you pushed away their love, help and guidance and turned your back on family as you walked out the door on your own volition.

Monday, January 23, 2017

An Election, A Crowd (or not), and Marches

So, as a country, we elected Donald Trump as President.  And by we, I mean both those who voted and those who did not.  As reported, a large percentage of eligible voters chose not to take to the polls and voice their opinion on who they believe should be president of these United States of America. Like a lot of people I too was cynical about the duopoly's appointed candidates. So my response was to vote for another person altogether. And no, I did not write my own name in, despite years ago making the remark that this would be the first election I was eligible as a candidate, and thusly would take the outsiders' track by storm to win the White House.  After internal polls had me at a strong showing of possible double digit support nationally (and by that I mean total votes, not percentage of), I elected to forgo the process of self nomination (I know, a surprise even to my own ego!) and vote for someone else who was actually running and listed on the ballot (although Bacon was a tempting choice for a write-in candidate).

Now I have heard from people on both sides that by voting a 3rd party candidate was merely the same as voting for the candidate they opposed.  That I wasted my vote, spitting in the very face of my civic duty and privilege to vote.  Of course I believe otherwise. I believe if you vote for whom you would like to have as your president then your vote counts.  If you vote for a candidate merely because you don't like another on the ballot, that my friends is what I call a wasted vote.  That section of the ballot is a vote to AFFIRM your choice.  If you wish to actively deny a vote, that's the section farther down where you find yourself choosing whether or not to retain any of the 4 billion judges most of you have never even heard of that work in one level of jurisprudence or another that oversees your particular county, state, or region.

Anyways, I digress...we elected Donald Trump. President. Of the United States of America. Yes to the chagrin on many. Yes, I too am shaking my head at this revelation.  There are many who openly state he is not their president.  Now I feel the freedom to express yourself is your natural right as a human, whether you are a citizen of this country or not.  But I am left wondering, if this guy is not your president, then you must not be a citizen of this country. And I wonder why so many of you non-citizens are all over the streets of this country and on social media proclaiming how he isn't your president.  Plain and simple, like it or not, if you are a citizen of the United States of America, for better or worse, Donald Trump is in fact your president, and will be for the next 4 years, or less if impeached or through resignation, or more if he somehow gets re-elected.  Short of moving out of the country and renouncing your citizenship, the fact that he is your president is an indisputable fact of your life for the time being. Now, unlike some others, I'm not going to tell you to "get over it, and move on". If you don't like his policies, by all means voice your dissenting opinions, form groups to lobby an opposition, march, whatever it is you want to do, go out and do it.

Now, maybe this is far too radical an idea, but maybe try these things with a little civility. All the labeling, the name calling, the violent acts against persons and property... merely the tools of fools.  And yes, before you try to point fingers I have called some of you pinko commie bastards. As a joke, never serious. except that one person. You know who you are.  I jest.  I have to use humor.  I write any of my serious blogs in portions, then stop for a bit and have a two, sometimes three-sided joke fest with myself because I need a little levity to break up the seriousness, before re-starting.  And it shows. My writing style is very much ADHD. Although I have never been diagnosed with such a disorder...probably because I'm too cheap to see a doctor who would bestow such an official diagnosis upon me.  During the day of inauguration, we saw images from protests right there in Washington, D.C.  Most members were peacefully assembling and exercising their rights.  However you had a few nincompoops who hijacked some of these protests and committed acts of violence against persons, and property as well. 

Now, while I abhor this violence, seeing a Starbucks get its windows smashed was a little humorous.  I mean really, if you are going to go after a business, why not go after someone who is charging a lot of good money for, in my not so humble OPINION, a craptastic coffee-like drink.  The Folgers or Maxwell House I brew at home, for far cheaper by the way, tastes much better.  Hell if you want to pay for coffee, come to my place. If you bring your own mug I'll happily give you a massive discount.  And even if you don't want to bring your own mug and want me to provide one for you, you'll save immensely over what you'll pay to stand in line at the Starbucks for their stuff.  One drink it black, or have an option of milk and/or sugar.  No whipped cream, or any other fancy crap.  You want bacon with that...the stove is 3 feet away, cook your own.

Okay on to the crowd issue.  There has been much ado made over the size of the crowd at the Donald's inauguration versus that of Obama's.  One side, supported by the media says the Great Orange One's audience was definitively smaller. The other side, and much touted by the new administration and their alternative facts, state unequivocally this is untrue. Photos taken at different times, attendees versus total viewing including the internet and tv, reality versus Trump's ego, or whatever other reasoning might be at play here seems to be dominating a good portion of my facebook page, talk shows, and the news itself.

On this issue, there are a couple things going on here. First, the media is literally playing Donald's game. Pointing out something to bruise his poor ego, letting him and his lackey's respond, and cue the back and forth. The more the media and the anti-Trump crowd keep it up, the more push back they get from the administration and all those who support him. Who's right? The better question that should be asked is Who Cares?  Let's just keep the distractions up over such trivial meaningless things, so we don't have to look at real issues that might actually affect us as a people.  For Fuck's Sake, its the real life equivalent to trolling on social media, without the need for social media.  The media and liberals are butt hurt about Trump winning, and Trump and Company is all butt hurt by even the slightest slight.  Maybe we should spend more time worrying about what is really leaving actual real life people across this land of ours hurt, and focus on finding solutions for those problems. I involve myself in pointless arguments all the time. Not because I want to trounce someone's feelings or alienate myself from the people around me, but for something to pass the time.  Hell, it's practically a family tradition to argue over anything and everything.  Partially for interaction, partially to understand each others' points of view and why we have them, and partially so we can sharpen our skills of Sophistry for when we decide to have a real argument.  But to fill news feeds the world over with this pointless drivel is beyond me.

Now, the marches.  All over the country, we saw these women's marches.  My sister participated in one in her home state of Florida. I have friends that did so in Colorado, and some great family friends in California who also chose to participate in these marches.  I applaud them all.  Exercising your freedom to express yourself, be it solo or in massive groups such as these is your God given right, and specifically protected by our sacred Constitution.  From what I've seen, these were all peaceful protests. To be honest, I haven't kept up on what exactly they were protesting.  I should probably ask...maybe I'll be answered in the comments section without having to ask. Always a much easier route for me.  I guess I see it more an extension of the anti-Trump protests, but what do I know? I was lucky to graduate high school much less have any real idea of what's going on around me.

One question I do have is this: If these marches were a protest for women's rights, what rights have been taken away from the women in our country?  I suspect I'll get an earful for asking such a question.  But then again, I like that, merely because it shows the free flow of thoughts and ideas. And please, give me YOUR thoughts. No hacked memes, no parroting the talking heads on TV. Just what YOU feel and believe.

So I'll leave it at that and just say...Your Turn to talk.