Thursday, November 10, 2016

An Open Letter to the Guy Who Thinks I’m Moving to Canada


So, you outed me. I voted for Hillary. And no, I don’t consider myself a feminist, and no, I wasn’t necessarily #withher. Did I want a woman to be President? Hells yeah. Did I want Hills? Though I aligned with her on some things, other issues made her not so much my first choice, but I, as many, chose what I believed to be the “lesser of two evils”.

Regardless, I was as dumbfounded as much of the country when I woke up to see that Trump had won the election. I just really didn’t see that coming, given all we had accomplished in, say, the past 100 years. In that time, I think the country has made some relatively major strides for women’s rights, combatting racism and the acceptance of the LGBT communities. Granted, we’ve also had some setbacks, but all in all, I think those areas are in better shape than they were a century ago.

Given the past remarks and actions of Mr. Trump, I don’t get a warm fuzzy that this will continue. He’s kind of been the antithesis of tolerance, if you will, to the point where it’s pretty scary, especially if you ask many women, non-whites, gays or transgenders.

That said, as I perused the news and social media, I was torn between just letting it all slide and voicing my shock at what this country had just done. I’m not a political person by any means – even this post is a bit out of my wheelhouse. So I mentioned something on Facebook about waking up to find out we’d gone back in time 100 years and changed my cover photo to the Canadian National Anthem. That’s about as passive-aggressive as you can get, right? I mean, the joke is, we’re all moving to Canada right? Eh?

So this guy I dated eons ago, who has since moved on and remarried, somehow surfaced late last night. He’s rarely on Facebook as far as I can tell, never posts, but somehow must have been browsing his newsfeed and came upon my cover photo. Here’s his comment. (Note: I have not corrected his grammar or punctuation.)

“Amy, seriously...I'm not a fan of "the Donald" either but do you really feel that one was worse than the other..?? Hilary is just as disgusting.. I'm saddened that out of 280 million people that those 2 turds were our best choice for president. If you still feel that now America is not worth living in then pack your bags and head north, Canada awaits you! While I was in the military, I've been all over the world and there is no other country I'd rather be in no matter who is my president. If you or any of the 50 or so actors and athletes who said they were leaving if trump was elected don't wish to be here, you're free to leave but don't come back in 4 years... I luv ya Amy, you're an amazing woman but I'm very surprised and disappointed..”

Now I’m not gonna lie – at first I was a little taken aback. I had to think: did I post some long rant about moving to Canada? Did I actually write that one candidate was worse than the other? And is he really lumping me in with actors and athletes? (blush) I didn’t really know WHAT to say, but I certainly didn’t want to get involved in a huge debate on Facebook. I mean, to me, Facebook is kind of for fun – yes I know it’s also a place to share events, find missing pets, offer our support and complain about our shitty day, but getting into a no-win, heated, public discussion that nine times out of ten ends up involving everyone including that crazy, out-there acquaintance whose friend request you wish you hadn't accepted isn’t really what I signed up for.

So I opted for the slightly neutral, passive-aggressive route once again. Because I can. I responded, “I agree with you that neither candidate was optimal and it was definitely a "lesser of two evils" for many voters, including myself. Thanks for your perspective!”

But for some reason, I couldn’t shrug off what he had said. Surprised and disappointed? At what? That I voted for Hillary or that you think I’m abandoning my country and moving to Canada? Was I just too wrapped up in the disbelief and frenzy of yesterday that I had somehow let a righteous opinion escape? I won’t pretend that I wasn’t a little outraged yesterday morning – at the percentage of people who voted for him, the percentage of people who DIDN’T vote at all, as well as the percentage of people who “protest voted” which was basically throwing their vote away. But as I read article after article as the day wore on, a few started to reflect more of a level-headed sense of calm. To paraphrase, “It’s done, now it’s up to all of us to come together and give this guy a chance.”

I mean, what else can we really do? MAYBE, as I read, his racist and anti-women comments and actions he made as a “celebrity” were more for shock value – “boys being boys”, as they say. (NOT that that’s an excuse, mind you…) MAYBE he never really thought he’d actually BECOME the President of the United States. We’re not even sure he truly WANTED it, as written by many who thought his campaign was merely a huge publicity stunt devised by a narcissistic businessman.

MAYBE now that he will be taking over the highest seat in the land, he’ll rethink who he is and what he says and how he acts and realize that he and his wife have some very big shoes to fill (yes, I voted for Obama, too, and no matter what you think of him politically, you have to admit that he and Michelle are a pretty Class Act).

Mr. Trump is a shrewd businessman; there’s no doubt about that. Maybe that will come in handy as he navigates these new national and international political waters. There’s something to be said for someone who doesn’t mince words. There’s also something to be said for tact. He’s going to need a delicate balance of the two.

What I’m trying to say, Guy Who Wrote on My Facebook Wall, is that it was just a joke - the Canadian National Anthem thing on my Facebook profile. I’m not moving to Canada. I have a great job here and a couple of kids and my dad is here and I’d really have to brush up on my French and I’m not sure I’m ready to give up the NFL and my Packers for the NHL and the Canadiens. In fact, Lambeau Field is probably as far north as I’ll go anytime soon.

As cliché as it sounds, I’m proud to be an American, and I’m willing to be open-minded about Mr. Trump as President. I hope he will surround himself with the right people, and I hope he will do what’s right and best for our country. I hope he will bring us together as he says he will, and make this country great again. In my opinion, it was pretty great before he showed up.

An Open Letter to the Guy Who Thinks I’m Moving to Canada


So, you outed me. I voted for Hillary. And no, I don’t consider myself a feminist, and no, I wasn’t necessarily #withher. Did I want a woman to be President? Hells yeah. Did I want Hills? Though I aligned with her on some things, other issues made her not so much my first choice, but I, as many, chose what I believed to be the “lesser of two evils”.

Regardless, I was as dumbfounded as much of the country when I woke up to see that Trump had won the election. I just really didn’t see that coming, given all we had accomplished in, say, the past 100 years. In that time, I think the country has made some relatively major strides for women’s rights, combatting racism and the acceptance of the LGBT communities. Granted, we’ve also had some setbacks, but all in all, I think those areas are in better shape than they were a century ago.

Given the past remarks and actions of Mr. Trump, I don’t get a warm fuzzy that this will continue. He’s kind of been the antithesis of tolerance, if you will, to the point where it’s pretty scary, especially if you ask many women, non-whites, gays or transgenders.

That said, as I perused the news and social media, I was torn between just letting it all slide and voicing my shock at what this country had just done. I’m not a political person by any means – even this post is a bit out of my wheelhouse. So I mentioned something on Facebook about waking up to find out we’d gone back in time 100 years and changed my cover photo to the Canadian National Anthem. That’s about as passive-aggressive as you can get, right? I mean, the joke is, we’re all moving to Canada right? Eh?

So this guy I dated eons ago, who has since moved on and remarried, somehow surfaced late last night. He’s rarely on Facebook as far as I can tell, never posts, but somehow must have been browsing his newsfeed and came upon my cover photo. Here’s his comment. (Note: I have not corrected his grammar or punctuation.)

“Amy, seriously...I'm not a fan of "the Donald" either but do you really feel that one was worse than the other..?? Hilary is just as disgusting.. I'm saddened that out of 280 million people that those 2 turds were our best choice for president. If you still feel that now America is not worth living in then pack your bags and head north, Canada awaits you! While I was in the military, I've been all over the world and there is no other country I'd rather be in no matter who is my president. If you or any of the 50 or so actors and athletes who said they were leaving if trump was elected don't wish to be here, you're free to leave but don't come back in 4 years... I luv ya Amy, you're an amazing woman but I'm very surprised and disappointed..”

Now I’m not gonna lie – at first I was a little taken aback. I had to think: did I post some long rant about moving to Canada? Did I actually write that one candidate was worse than the other? And is he really lumping me in with actors and athletes? (blush) I didn’t really know WHAT to say, but I certainly didn’t want to get involved in a huge debate on Facebook. I mean, to me, Facebook is kind of for fun – yes I know it’s also a place to share events, find missing pets, offer our support and complain about our shitty day, but getting into a no-win, heated, public discussion that nine times out of ten ends up involving everyone including that crazy, out-there acquaintance who you wish you hadn’t accepted their friend request isn’t really what I signed up for.

So I opted for the slightly neutral, passive-aggressive route once again. Because I can. I responded, “I agree with you that neither candidate was optimal and it was definitely a "lesser of two evils" for many voters, including myself. Thanks for your perspective!”

But for some reason, I couldn’t shrug off what he had said. Surprised and disappointed? At what? That I voted for Hillary or that you think I’m abandoning my country and moving to Canada? Was I just too wrapped up in the disbelief and frenzy of yesterday that I had somehow let a righteous opinion escape? I won’t pretend that I wasn’t a little outraged yesterday morning – at the percentage of people who voted for him, the percentage of people who DIDN’T vote at all, as well as the percentage of people who “protest voted” which was basically throwing their vote away. But as I read article after article as the day wore on, a few started to reflect more of a level-headed sense of calm. To paraphrase, “It’s done, now it’s up to all of us to come together and give this guy a chance.”

I mean, what else can we really do? MAYBE, as I read, his racist and anti-women comments and actions he made as a “celebrity” were more for shock value – “boys being boys”, as they say. (NOT that that’s an excuse, mind you…) MAYBE he never really thought he’d actually BECOME the President of the United States. We’re not even sure he truly WANTED it, as written by many who thought his campaign was merely a huge publicity stunt devised by a narcissistic businessman.

MAYBE now that he will be taking over the highest seat in the land, he’ll rethink who he is and what he says and how he acts and realize that he and his wife have some very big shoes to fill (yes, I voted for Obama, too, and no matter what you think of him politically, you have to admit that he and Michelle are a pretty Class Act).

Mr. Trump is a shrewd businessman; there’s no doubt about that. Maybe that will come in handy as he navigates these new national and international political waters. There’s something to be said for someone who doesn’t mince words. There’s also something to be said for tact. He’s going to need a delicate balance of the two.

What I’m trying to say, Guy Who Wrote on My Facebook Wall, is that it was just a joke - the Canadian National Anthem thing on my Facebook profile. I’m not moving to Canada. I have a great job here and a couple of kids and my dad is here and I’d really have to brush up on my French and I’m not sure I’m ready to give up the NFL and my Packers for the NHL and the Canadiens. In fact, Lambeau Field is probably as far north as I’ll go anytime soon.

As cliché as it sounds, I’m proud to be an American, and I’m willing to be open-minded about Mr. Trump as President. I hope he will surround himself with the right people, and I hope he will do what’s right and best for our country. I hope he will bring us together as he says he will, and make this country great again. In my opinion, it was pretty great before he showed up.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Would This Be Crazy? Would This Be Nuts?


Do you ever wish you could be someone else?

I don't mean "grass-is-greener, she-looks-so-put-together, I-wish-I-had-her-killer-body, her-husband-is-hot-bet-he-vacuums-AND-is-great-in-bed" desire to be someone else. Though that would be cool – to be someone else you're envious of, just for a day or two. You'd either really, really appreciate your own self and life or try to sell your soul to commandeer her body for the rest of your days.

What I mean is, to be someone else to get a different perspective on things. Namely, yourself – but not the yourself you are as someone else – the yourself you were.

Make sense?

I mean, here we all are, to quote Prince (God rest his soul), "to get through this thing called life."

Electric word, life, it means forever and that's a mighty long time ...

Sorry. I digress.

What I'm trying to say is, we are born us. I am born me. You are born you. And it is all we know. We grow up with certain families and beliefs and innate qualities and ways of thinking, and along the way we learn and grow. But pretty early on, I think the root of who we are and what makes us "us" is pretty solidified.

For instance, if I had to think to the furthest back I can remember and recall qualities about me that are still the same today, I could. Sensitive. Moody. Thoughtful. Ambitious. Self-critical. Quirky.

Now, if I were someone else looking at me, would I see these same qualities? Maybe. But I know for a fact that you see another person differently than they see themselves.

Someone once told me, "You seem so confident – like you have it all together." At the time, nothing could have been further from the truth. I second-guessed everything I did, and looking "put together" was to me an exhausting daily and (what I considered) futile exercise. But somehow, I had bullshitted my way into making her think I was doing even better than OK.

I know a lot of us do this. There's a saying, "Don't judge people by their outside; you know not what's going on their inside." For example, the rude cashier at the checkout. Maybe she's having a really bad day or maybe she's just a bitch. Who knows? The standoffish person at the party. Does she think she's too good for you or is she incredibly shy and self-conscious? The loud, irritating coworker of yours. Is he truly obnoxious or just trying desperately for someone to hear what he has to say – albeit in the wrong way?

That's why I think it would be cool to be able to switch with someone for a period of time. I'd like to live another person's life and to see the world from their perspective. Do they over analyze things like I do? Do they get offended or hurt as easily? Are their standards and expectations of people and of life higher or lower than mine? Are they more patient? Better friends? Do they work harder? How do they interact with their kids? Do they have a good body image? What do they do on the weekends? Do they call up friends or do friends call them? Do they get lonely and if they do, do they reach out to someone? Do they get depressed? And if they do, is it a big deal or do they just brush it off and move on?

I know everyone does things and feels things differently and I don't mean to say that how someone else feels and acts is how I should feel and act. But wouldn't it be interesting just to put your feet in someone else's shoes? I know we're all unique, but I'd be fascinated to see the differences first hand. And yes, a part of me would like to see if some of my qualities are completely unique (read odd) to me, or if they're at least within the "normal" range of feelings, opinions and habits. 

That would probably take up at least a day. The other day I get to be someone else and see me as they see me. Again, I'm them, sizing up me – like I'm a stranger. You follow me?

The problem is, I'm not really sure
what I think of me.
During that day I'd like to know how I appear to them. Is it as I think I appear to people? Does my resting bitchy face really make it seem like I'm pissed at the world all the time? Do I seem competent in work meetings? How about one-on-one? What about small talk – do I sound stupid? Do I look ridiculous at the gym unshowered and unmakeuped in those spandex capri pants? Do I seem like a good parent? What about a good friend? Do I look depressed? Do I complain about my problems too much?  Am I crazy? Am I nuts?

I think this would be an insightful experiment. In two days, not only would I see firsthand how someone else gets through this thing called life, but I'd also get to see how another person sees me.

I'm sure knowing this information could be a double-edged sword – as much as it might assuage any self-doubt, it could potentially be painful, too – but in my case, I'm pretty sure no one is going to tell me anything negative about me that I don't already know and obsess about. And if I see good things? Well then I saw them for myself, instead of having to try to graciously swallow a compliment from someone who I'm always sure is mistaken or has just made it up. It would be beneficial to be able to see the good in me from another set of eyes – yet my own.

I was told once by someone, "I wish you could see you the way I see you." It was said to me toward the end of our relationship, which I'm sure was due in some part to my inability to see myself at all. All I could manage to say was, "I wish I could, too."

Somewhat true. How others see you is,
to some extent, important. You can say
it's not, but you know full well it kinda is.
And yes, I know what you're thinking. You're not supposed to care what other people think. Caring too much about what others think can hold you prisoner. God made us all different and we should celebrate our uniqueness. The less I care about what people think, the more I'll enjoy life. I've read all the quotes. And I'm not so much saying that I am a prisoner of what other people think. I'm saying I think it would be interesting if we could all see how we are perceived to get an idea of how much of our inside is in fact projected on our outside; how much of that outside is really just a ruse to protect the inside. And in my case, it might validate some of my feelings and attributes that I have less than stellar confidence in, I'm not gonna lie.

If you could, would you make the switch? I think I would. Now I don't know if the whole Freaky Friday exercise would be entirely constructive – I'm sure there's some part of it that would be akin to telepathy, and that can be a good or a bad thing. But I'd be willing to risk it; first, to get a glimpse into the inner workings of someone who isn't me. And second, in the hopes that in seeing me as someone else, I could take the bad parts and try to improve on them, and then take even the slightest, unexpected good part and help try to balance the scales of how I see myself. 'Cause in this life, things are much harder than in the after world. In this life, you're on your own.