Friday, September 26, 2014

Second chances

I thought I would wait until the ire surrounding the Ray Rice/domestic violence in the NFL died down a bit before posting some thoughts. Of course, with an ongoing investigation, it is still rare to go more than a few days without seeing that incredibly disturbing video.

So here goes my thoughts about various topics around the saga and domestic violence in general:

  • Enough with the video. Can someone please think of Janay, Rice's wife. And I feel sorry for their daughter who in just a few years will probably be on the Internet and come across that. Just stop.
  • It does not (much) matter that the extremely damning video came out later; the Ravens and the NFL should have done more knowing what they knew months ago. Rice said he hit his fiancée, and at the time there was video of his dragging her unconscious body out of the elevator. For the love of God, why wasn't that abhorrent enough to warrant more than a two-game suspension?
  • It is never okay to strike a woman. Closed-fisted, open-handed, it does not matter. If a woman has wronged you, hits you first (which is also wrong), or badgers you verbally for hours on end, you need to walk away. Punch a wall if you must. But not a woman. Never. I might even go so far as to say even if she is 6 feet tall and 250 and you are 5'6" and 140 pounds wet. But you know what I mean, hopefully.
  • Women who stay with abusers don't deserve scorn. You probably have no idea why they won't leave, but to them, it is a really good reason. And often there are many reasons: fear, forgiveness, thinking divorce is a sin, fear, their children, embarrassment, fear, money, thinking it is their fault, fear, self-esteem issues, bad advice, fear, not wanting to be alone, thinking they will never find someone else, fear. Yes, I said fear. A lot. Based on my experience volunteering at a DV shelter many moons ago, fear was up there and a big motivator to stay (because really, if your man points a gun at your head and says he will shoot you if you leave, I am guessing that would be enough to make most women stay). But again, many, many reasons.
  • Most batterers hit again. Ask any woman who has ever been hit. Some change, but it is probably not worth it to take a chance and find out if said person is a new man. But see my next point.
  • Once someone has been suitably punished (and Ray Rice has not been yet, as far as in the eyes if the law, but he has as far as the NFL is concerned, if he misses the entire season), and in some cases, once there is enough passage of time, we should move on. See my next point for more about that. But when I say "we," I do not mean the victim of DV; I mean the rest of us.
  • Former Steeler James Harrison slapped his girlfriend many years ago. The Steelers, particularly Dan Rooney, did not handle it well. I am pretty sure I blogged or wrote a letter to the editor about it. But that was years ago. Since Harrison has not gotten in trouble for anything DV-related since then, why punish him now? I would say this for any person, any team. Otherwise, why not just leave every person in prison and never let anything go? And, yeah, for me this applies to all wrongdoings. I don't hold Ben Roethlisberger in the highest regard as a person. But he was suspended for what he did (and keep in mind he was not charged with anything nor was there proof). So I am over it. 
  • Again, I am saying this as an outsider, not the girlfriend or wife of an abuser or sexual assaulter. Because those people have no obligation whatsoever to move on as far as forgiving and forgetting. But if they do? Again up to them.
  • Finally, we make our own choices. What we do is rarely the fault of our team, family, coworkers, school, teachers, etc. Dont hate and/or blame entire entities for one person's screw up. I root for entire teams. I refuse to hate a team because of the things a few did. Just as I would not quit my job if I found out a coworker or boss drive drunk and injured someone. And just as I would not shun an entire family if one of their kids was a drug user and seller.

Now giving someone a third chance? That is different. Still working through my thoughts there.

That is all for now.




Sunday, September 21, 2014

42 going on 22, going on 37, going on 63

Can someone please tell me I am not alone in feeling as if I were a different age on different days?!

I am 42 3/4, and quite comfortable sharing my age with anyone. This is due mostly to my mom's shaving four years off her age and my finding out about it in the seventh grade, via looking at her yearbook at Grandma's. But the other reason I don't bother hiding my age is because if you are not getting older, then you aren't doing anything (except, perhaps decaying in the ground). You are welcome for that visual!

But feeling and/or looking a certain age is another matter entirely.

I think I look around 37. I don't know why I have that age in mind, but I am quite convinced few people would guess I was in my 40s. In fact just recently, two gals in the choir, who are somewhere between late 20s and early to mid 30s seemed genuinely surprised I was 42. I told them I think of myself as 37, and one said she thought I looked even younger. (She is my new best friend.) The other one said that 42 is the answer to everything. So there is that!

A few weeks ago when I was riding the bus in Oakland, where there are several universities, some older woman (she was in her 80s, maybe she said 84 or 86) asked me if I was a college student. I laughed and told her, "Not for over 20 years."

I walk around campus with a backpack, because I can carry more things. But I am not going to lie: There are times I pretend I am a college student and imagine that people (i.e., students) think I am one of them. Which is, of course, ridiculous. Although, as my one coworker said, that 85-ish woman probably thought I was a grad student, or she just had poor eyesight!

Then there are the times when I feel young(er) and within a matter of minutes or hours, I feel about 20 years older. 

Yesterday, I went running, which is something I started to do again, but only 2-4 times per month. I started out, as I typically do, feeling like I was all that, convinced that anyone who saw me was impressed with my great shape and form and probably thinking I was this pretty 35-year old. However, within five minutes, I felt every bit of 42. And by the time I got to the second-to-last, killer hill, just over 20 minutes into my run, my heart rate had gone beyond the max it should, I was panting more than a dog on a warm day, I was dripping with sweat, and I felt as if I were pushing 60. Afterwards, I was sore for hours, and I felt old, sad, and out of shape.

Today? I don't know. I guess I feel 42. But in a young mom kind of way. :-)




Friday, September 12, 2014

Can't cry hard enough

Pretty sure I've used that as a blog post title post before. But it fits. 

Yesterday, we found out Sadie, our nearly 13-year old dog, has cancer and likely only a few months to live. She had a growth by her tail, which hindered its usual question-mark shape. I had thought it had to do with her injured ACL (maybe she was overcompensating). But when I really looked at it, I decided maybe we should get it checked out. 

When we walked into the vets's office a few days later (last night), the vet took one look and said it was bad. No need to biopsy. He knew. And because of its location, he could not operate (though at her age, I would not put her through that anyway). He said things will probably get bad; she'll have trouble going to the bathroom, particularly if/when the mass grows. She is struggling with that now, but she can still go; everything else seems okay. She did get sick a few times this evening, but I am hoping it is a fluke and not the beginning of the end. I am counting on those few months and selfishly hoping for more.

I am not ready to say good bye yet. I cried so much last night. I did not even sleep for two hours last night. Thank goodness I was able to stay home, rest, and just be with girl, the original reason I was called "Mom."

I have been quite upset about the Ray Rice/NFL crap. I had wanted to write a post about that, mostly to express my disappointment with the NFL. But I never got around to it. And last night, it mattered less. (Though my feelings about it have not changed; they are a mixture of anger and sadness.)

J and I decided to start a blog about Sadie (sadiethepitbull.blogspot.com). I like to think I/we will do a better job of keeping up with that than I do around here. I hope it helps us. 

Because I can't cry hard enough.