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3:20 p.m. - 2014-10-08
Maloney for Congress

One crappy bout with bronchitis later...

Finally feeling better. Not just physically well either. The turn of the season, being able to move without coughing, getting several amazingly restful night's sleep in a row and I am glad to be here again. Autumn, of course, is my favorite season and one I've written a sickening number of odes and love song blog posts about. I'll spare everyone the annual schmoop fest and just say I'm glad it's fall.

Before I go on I have a few shout outs.

My beloved Amy and her beloved got married! I wish I could have been there but finances and my shitty health made it otherwise. No pics yet but Amy left a quick update on FB that everything went wonderfully and she and Adam are well and truly married and delighted about it. Congratulations, you two. Mazel tov!

Darling Deb, let me wish you a Happy Birthday and tell you how glad I am you're here. Love you always.

Lana, dear, you are being very brave. You got done dirty, my friend, and I totally understand your betrayal. The hurt, the sucker-punch to your ego and sense of self. All of it sucks and is absolutely unfair. I know I've told you this already but it bears repeating...Time is your friend. Give yourself some time. Feel all your feelings, weather your storms and I promise a new and wonderful day will dawn.

Sarah! I am delighted for you that what was taken from you was returned. You did what was necessary to save your life and now you can go out and live it loud. Mwah!

Okay, announcements over, back to me.

I made an important discovery yesterday. It dawned on me that nobody makes me feel like shit anymore. By attrition, divorce, and deliberate excision my life is rid of the toxic people. All those who by word or deed let me know how much they thought I sucked, the folk who were so happy to let me know constantly how much crappier their life was because they had me in it, the ones with the unspoken expectations I never heard of but was always told how bad I'd screwed up for not meeting them, the pouts, the sulks, the eye rolls. All of it is gone.

I'm not just living healthier because I don't have Yodels for breakfast anymore.

See, last night I was making dinner and there was no broccoli in the crisper drawer and even the stash of emergency frozen broccoli was depleted. Crud. There'd be no green vegetable to go with the peanut butter chicken. Instinctively I hunched my shoulders already hearing Mike's snitty, "If I'd known you weren't going to make a real dinner I'd have eaten out." I saw Alex's thrust out lower lip and heard his weary sigh, Mom let him down again. Of course I'd forgotten to buy more broccoli, I did this shit to him all the time. Worst. Mother. Ever.

Then Wolf came into the kitchen. He gave me a side hug because I was up to my wrists in gooey chicken and bread crumbs. "Smells great, Mom. Want me to set the table?" And...BING! I was back to the now. In a little while we'd sit at table eating and talking and laughing and if I said something about the missing broccoli both would tell me dinner was delicious even without it. Wolf would assure me his nutritional needs had been met with a vegetable stir-fry he'd had at culinary school and Mick would say, "Baby, shhh, stop. The dinner is terrific, all your dinners are wonderful. Kings don't eat as well as we do."

I thought about this and got a little floaty-headed. This is what it's like to be loved. And not just by my guys, though our life together is amazing and wonderful, it's everywhere I go. Online, on the phone, in person, it's all good. I never look at the caller ID and think, "Oh God, what now?" My inbox isn't the hateful Super Fund site it used to be. I've junked all those 'friendships' where all the work was on my end and more often than not I still got stood up, waitlisted, or was otherwise made to know I came in dead fucking last. I don't beg for anyone's attention or approval anymore nor do I allow myself to be someone's dumping ground or scratching post. Healthy. Sane. Finally. (Yeah, I'm waving a red cape in front of my malign peanut gallery. Go ahead, you assholes. I know the need to be cruel and ugly is overwhelming. Do what you have to, but know I'm not smarting over your venom as I used to. Sticks, stones, rubber, glue, etc, etc.)

Monday night Mick and I went to a political debate. Our congressperson Sean Patrick Maloney was debating his opponent Nan Hayworth. Maloney won the seat from her two years ago and she had won it from John Hall two years before that. In 2010 Nan Hayworth rode the Tea Party insanity into Congress and then was promptly dumped. That she's making another run at it is absurd. Maloney didn't just win two years ago, he blew Nan right out of her seat. Monday's debate was more of a curiosity jaunt for us than that our vote might possibly be swayed. As expected our guy was terrific. Informed, had a concrete list of accomplishments, facts, endorsements, and had a plan in place for his next term. Nan Hayworth's entire shtick was to repeat, "The Pelosi-Obama-Maloney agenda" about 50 times. I lost actual count at 27, but the debate went on for another hour after I stopped keeping track so we'll call it 50. Despite the moderator's pleas for the audience to refrain from applause during the debate so as to give the candidates the most time possible to answer questions Rep. Maloney got several spontaneous cheers. And Ms Hayworth was actually booed. Several times. She did have a claque in the seats near her podium but I'd say the audience went about 75% for our guy, 15% for Hayworth, and 10% press people who had to be outwardly neutral. I'd truly be willing to give the devil her due if Ms Hayworth had said anything that even came close to an actual fact or a plan for her term should she win, but she didn't. Not one thing of substance, nor could she point to her own time in Congress as she had served on zero committees, sponsored no bills, and brought nothing back home to our district in terms of capital projects or disaster relief. Her sole accomplishment in Congress was to have voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act a whopping 37 times. And for this she wants her old job back. I don't think so, honeybunch.

One last thing about Rep. Maloney and then I'll move on. This nice handsome Irish Catholic young man from a working class background is gay. He and his husband have three kids. Three adoptees of mixed-race, one son and two daughters. Sean is on good terms with his parents and siblings, and took his WWII veteran father to meet President Clinton in the Oval Office when he (Sean) was on Clinton's staff. During his opening and closing remarks at the debate he made mention of his husband and spoke with pride about their kids, as any loving husband and father would, but beyond that his family wasn't a selling point. I admire that. And I'm kind of proud of us, his constituents, that it's not a big deal to us either. The general feeling is, "Yeah, and?"

Dr King gave his 'I Have a Dream' speech the year I was born. I remember very clearly the night my mother was turned away from Hometown's swank restaurant because she was wearing slacks. Her outfit was certainly fancy enough being a coppery metallic fabric with a sexy top and swishy palazzo pants, but it wasn't a dress and it was totally legal to refuse her service. During my lifetime: the Stonewall Riots, Woodstock, the Kent State murders, the assassinations of JFK, RFK, MLK, and Harvey Milk. I wasn't allowed to choose the drums as a band instrument because 'drums were for boys'. I remember the elections of Ella Grasso and Bella Abzug. There was the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency and the sincere attempt at the Equal Rights Amendment. Sally Ride, Geraldine Ferraro, and Barney Frank. I stood at the gravesides of best friends dead of AIDS. I remember the murder of Matthew Sheppard and the slaughter on 9-11. On the flipside there's been Monty Python, The Kids in The Hall, Men on Film (snaps in a Z formation!), gender-bending comedy that made us laugh and think. During my 51 years so much upheaval, so many changes. And now here in the crazy futuristic year of 2014 my congressional district is about to re-elect a man who is (legally!) married to another man and they have three kids. These two men were allowed to adopt children! Kids whose mixed ethnicities would have given them a tough time not too long ago, let alone having two dads. And the voters of NY's 18th congressional district couldn't care less about who our rep is married to or what color his kids are- what we want to know is whether the onion farmers will get some help from this wretched drought, whether RT 17's overpasses are going to be rebuilt before they collapse. We want the Wallkill River dredged and the Hudson cleaned up. We want the frackers kept out and some decent manufacturing jobs brought back in. We want marijuana legalized and student loans refinanced. What matters are the things which have an impact on OUR lives and whether the person we sent to Washington to speak our case is actually doing the job we hired him to do. His personal life is simply that...his.

Is everything all better? Of course not. But it's hella better than it used to be. The societal mirror reflects on my life the same way. Is it all better? No. But it's hella better than it used to be.

Happy! ~LA

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