I have been home with a lot of intestinal nasties the past two days. I slept most of yesterday while my sweetheart used the car. When she asked if I needed her to pick up something from the store I asked for some homemade chicken soup and ginger ale.
She let me know she was on the way home and I slipped out to get her a Valentines Day gift. Conviently there are a bakery and a chocolate shop around the corner. I checked the bakery but they had closed so off to the chocalate shop I went with most of the black men in the neighborhood. I found my trusty debit card and got a nice pair of hearts. I slowly walked home and got back on the futon where I had been all day.
I gave her my gift and was somewhat surprised to learn that the Valentines day card I had seen over the weekend was for her grandson. I went to bed feeling a little sad. However this morning she showed me the card she had made for me saying I was loved. It was like what they say chicken soup for the heart.
I have struggled over the years with Valentines day including having a woman break up with me. Some small things lime this mean more as I grow older. I am listening to jazz, my intestines are returning to nrmal and thinking about being loved.
I returned to my blog this week mainly in response to a training session I participated in regarding the impact of whiteness and the ideology of white supremacy on our mental health work. I am also reading a book that I checked out of the Milwaukee Public Library. My blog entries have reached a few people in different settings: on WordPress, twitter and Facebook. I welcome responses and would be interested in knowing what people think of these ideas. Today, the news was focused on the vote in the United Kingdom to leave the European Union. A driving force behind the vote was said to be a sense of unease among white people that England is becoming too brown due to immigration. The chants of We want our country back were similar to those who began opposing President Obama not after he was elected the first black President of the United States.
Some people believe that the slogan of one of the presumptive major party presidential candidates is a disguised call to make America white again. Dr. Moore pointed out that the growing number of black and brown people we see is no accident. There are more of us here every day. It’s our country, too. We are competing for jobs, housing, education and other resources with everyone else who came here. One of the barriers we face is the sense of entitlement that people of European American ancestry feel.
People are coming to America. And the people who were already here have different attitudes about topics such as race. Which means more interracial relationships. I see young couples in the stores, parks and everywhere else. I am also involved in an interracial relationship with a woman who caught my attention several years ago. Although it took some time, we found we were ready to make a life together. We match one another’s quirks most of the time. We have learned to talk that talk.
So, if any of this discussion about race, whiteness and pluralism sounds like something you could participate in, drop me a message.
Liz and I have been reading our much anticipated 150th anniversary edition of The Nation, a liberal publication. I subscribed to the magazine off and on over the years when I was feeling progressive I had hoped at different periods that the socialist projects in Cuba, Vietnam and Africa would take root and bring prosperity. And yet I wanted to be a part of some sense of social change.
When The Nation advertised the subscription including the anniversary edition I jumped at it. I wanted to share it with my little sweetheart. When I pick up the magazine and browse through, it’s amazing to think that something begun in the anti-slavery era could still be with us today. All the great writers are in there and there are so many stories about the great villains of our times. It’s like the much beloved book A People’s History of the United States.
With Donald Trump waving his penis around like a mad man, it’s refreshing to read intelligent people somewhere in America. I long to talk with James Baldwin, I.F. Stone, Emma Goldman, John Steinbeck, Alice Walker and Martin Luther King, Jr. and the only place I can these days is in The Nation. It will brighten your day.
Yesterday I saw the delightful news that federal judge Barbara Crabb had overturned a state ban on same-sex marriage. State officials who were on the right side of history moved swiftly to issue marriage licenses and conduct weddings. Even the police in Madison, our state capitol, delivered wedding cakes to celebrate the marriages. My Facebook friends were excited. One couple who have been together more than ten years had a tacky wedding proposal widely enjoyed by all of us.
All, of course, except for those who believe discrimination should be enshrined in our constitution. For them, the judge had a sharp rebuke, reminding them that traditional marriage was actually polygamy. The passage of the anti-gay amendment was an attempt to rally the troops for intolerance. It immediately created two classes of citizens: those of us who enjoyed equal treatment under the law and those who did not. And it created the basis for the law suit that the ACLU if Wisconsin filed against it. As a result, love has won.
Nothing in the decision affected my relationship with my companion. We are as straight today as we were before the amendment was passed. The only difference is that today we could find some same-sex partner and get married. I am delighted that many of my straight friends were cheering on the decision for love. We can celebrate for our friends gaining their equal rights and protections and having the right to say “I do” or “I don’t” with everyone else. Hurray!
I feel more protected being with someone instead of just being exposed. Anything could happen when you’re not involved. I’ve heard of single people who were literally carried off in the middle of the night by mobs preying on single vulnerable individuals. Can you image that happening to someone in a relationship? No, your partner would spring to your defense. Words like unhand my sweetheart would scare away the worst villain and you would be home safe.
Being in a relationship also means a bigger bed. Unless, of course, you’re already big as a house in which case, you need to get out of bed and go exercise. But for the rest of us, small to medium size folks, .we are going to bed in a full or king size bed with our partners. However there are some exceptions. Those of you who were told (and believed, hah, hah,) that it was sinful to sleep with someone outside of marriage you will be the ones laying in a bed with your pets. Those of us who are atheists or just plain horny will have all the sex you’re no enjoying. Oh, there’s a loose orgasm, now.
Maybe you’re like the character Jim Parsons plays on The Big Bang Theory, afraid of germs and other things that result from being touched. Your unfortunate would be lovers are spending the best years of their lives pleasuring themselves with various devices instead of with you. You’re probably too afraid to do much more than shake hands. You can see I am not feeling sympathy for you, either. Grab those little germs from saliva and slurp away, friends.
Then there are us, married, unmarried, straight, crooked, bent, bi or gay as possible consenting adults exercising our rights to be who we are intended to become, throwing off the bonds of some straight-laced old farts who tried to legislate for us. To those, we saw keep your laws and your morality off our bodies. We are raising children, paying bills, working and doing all sorts of things that would blow your imagination wide open. In our world we are safe, protected, loved and fabulous. That’s what being in a relationship means.
I discovered last night that my new relationship has lasted more than 6 months and that this has been one of the fastest years on record. Imagine, you meet someone and you begin going out together and then in seemingly 3 months you are married and have 4 children. Fortunately that is not what happened but it could have.
Most of the time we have been together it has been cold and we were trying to sleep. If we had stopped sleeping so much we would have had so much more time together.
Other ways that we might have reduced useless activity might include wearing 3 or 4 outfits at a tine, cutting back on bathing or taking early retirement. Of course by now we would have probably grown sick of one another. Our nearest relatives might have called various authorities to make reports about our behavior and our landlord and the cats might have noticed our odors. So it’s better to not ponder anything like that. The cats are reassured seeing us go off to work 5 days a week. They have some kind of scam going on where they pretend to not get along when we’re around. Then afterwards they are just fine. They probably talk with one another when we’re not watching.We could have exposed their little racket if we had paid more attention to them instead of having our relationship.
In the meantime we have our cozy little lives together.
I caught a brief glimpse of Secretary of State John Kerry this afternoon making the rounds of the talking heads. I thought back to when I first saw him conducting the Winter Soldier Investigation into the Vietnam War in 1971. He was heroic and idealistic speaking truth to power. It took a lot more sacrifices to end that war that had been fought on false pretenses with a story concocted to stampede Congress into approving the shameful Gulf of Tonkin resolution. Eventually Congress repealed it as the nation thundered its disapproval. Congress also passed the War Powers Act to try and curtail the President’s warmaking ability and recapture its Constitutional duty. Unfortunately, time and again it has failed to force the President to comply with the act.
There are books describing the imperial presidency as it has become known. President Obama said that he was not seeking to join that long line of imperial Presidents. However, he was already too late. The intervention he ordered into Libya was the beginning of his love affair with the expanded power. Libya was somehow defined as something other than war but we are still dealing with the after effects of it. Now we have John Kerry telling us that the President believes he has the authority to wage war on Syria although he is consulting with Congress. He evaded the question about whether the President would honor the vote even if he lost. “We’re not going to lose that vote,” he snapped.
Who knows where the time goes? I was still in the US military in 1971 and preparing my return to civilian life. I took heart in the friends I had marched with before I was drafted were still marching and I was eager to join them. Although Kerry and I have a lot of gray in our heads I can honestly say I have a lot more of my ideals than he retained. It’s time to re-ignite that winter soldier. Killing Syrians to prove that killing Syrians would be wrong on so many different levels. Only diplomacy can help end violence in Syria supported by the intervention of the US and many other nations.