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Archive for the ‘Books, Journaling, Wedding, Country’ Category

Like migrating birds, Bob and I took off from BNA to visit my brother, Dr Jim.

He lives outside of Minneapolis-St Paul, the center of the legal universe this week as the trial of George Floyd goes to a jury. Fences and barricades are up, a large contingent of our National Guard stands ready. Right down the street in Brooklyn Center, Officer Kim Potter allegedly mistook her gun for a taser, killing Daunte Wright. Mr Wright will surely have his day in court too, but can we actually ever reform a culture of police violence?

The judge in the Floyd case is currently giving instructions to the jury – he is explaining what “intent” means. How can we know what Officer Chauvin intended to do about an alleged counterfeit 20 dollar bill; what did he think might happen while he continued to press his knee down on Floyd’s neck? Potter at least is heard on her police video threatening to tase Daunte Wright on a traffic stop that never should have happened.

Both Bob and Dr Jim said if they had been born Black in America, they’d surely be dead by now. Jim has a Vietnam Vet license plate on his car, so that when a cop once stopped him, he eventually waved him on and thanked him for his service.

We were watching the trial of George Floyd when Bob spied a wild turkey walking through the trees outside our window. He was waltzing along in the tony minneapolis suburb without a care in the world. I’d seen squirrels and chipmunks race across Jim’s deck, and later two big deer wandered into our line of sight from the living room couch. My husband almost thought they were elk, they were so huge and majestic!

I thought about the time, early on in 2020, when Bob was weeding around our city house and a glorious, fluffy-tailed red fox came within view – they both stopped and looked each other in the eyes. Then he bounded off across the street and behind an apartment building. Did you know there was a coyote taking up residence in a bathroom at the Nashville Convention Center?

As things return to some sort of stasis, I’m hoping that wildlife might continue to shock us out of our conspicuous consumption. As we begin to travel again, in cars and planes and trains, enlarging our collective carbon footprint, I dream that more and more people will turn to sustainable energy, like bikes, public transportation or electric cars. Of course, a Tesla would be nice, but there are more affordable options out there right now.

Thursday is Earth Day. If we intend to care for Mother Earth, we must be able to care for ourselves and end systemic racism in our country. I saw a sign in MN that said, “End State Sponsored Terrorism,” and I thought about not just reducing and reforming the police who are increasingly militarized, but also confronting our legislators and their addiction to guns and the money gun lobbyists throw around.

The US has seen at least 147 mass shootings in 2021, according to data from the GVA, a non-profit based in Washington.”

https://www.cnn.com/2021/04/16/us/mass-shootings-45-one-month/index.html

As children return to school, as we set about going to church or a mall or even a grocery store, will we continue to fear for our lives? Should we Americans accept this as “normal?” Republican TN Gov Bill Lee recently passed a bill that would allow anyone to carry a concealed weapon as of July 1st! The law allows anyone over 21 to carry open and concealed handguns WITHOUT a permit!

We cannot return to this normal: a time when driving while Black is dangerous, a time when bullet-proof backpacks are prized, a time when clean air and water was a political issue. Our slow, migration back to semi-normal life must be done thoughtfully, and with the best of intentions.

Five siblings

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Herb plants are potted and vegetables are in the raised bed. I’ve added a new phlox to the garden and even sprinkled some flower pots about just for fun. As much as gardening is hard work, somehow this year I couldn’t wait to dig my hands in the dirt. And I’ll blame it on the Zoom Pilates, my body hardly suffered from all that bending and hoisting.

Which leads me to ask, what do you do just for fun?

I’m currently reading a book about fun by Annie F Downs; “THAT SOUNDS FUN” or The Joys of being an amateur, the power of falling in love, and why you need a hobby! The Grands and I did a quick trip through Parnassus Bookstore and I was drawn to the local author table. I rarely need to buy a book because of Bob’s monthly gift from the store’s signed first edition club, plus my family and friends revolving free library. But I was drawn to the title after this past pandemic year.

Fun can be big or small, it can be planned or spontaneous. For example, the Bride lets us know when she’s working a day shift and the Groom is in the Covid ICU. This is bound to be a wonderfully fun day for me because I get to puppy sit! I mean, who doesn’t love a puppy? Especially one with big pink ears who looks like Winston Churchill! In fact, today our little Frenchie is on the scene.

So gardening can be a chore, and puppy sitting could be an obligation, it just depends on your attitude. Like cooking, for instance.

I can honestly say that I used to adore cooking, especially for loved ones. It’s my “love language” I’ve been told. But EVERY single day, breakfast/lunch/dinner for a year, and usually just for the two of us… has become a bit mundane. And I like prepping and chopping and such solo, it’s meditative for me. But, since Bob has discovered sourdough, we have to work around each other in the kitchen.

If I’m doing Zoom Pilates in the morning, and I’ve figured out in my mind what’s for lunch and dinner – yes, food is often what I’m thinking about on the yoga mat – then I’m a happy camper. Last week I’d roasted a big pork loin and delivered it to the Groom because the Bride had an evening shift. He was happily surprised to have dinner delivered along with the above mentioned puppy. Then the next day the Bride told me the truth.

They are trying to go meatless for the month of April!

I mean the whole family has decided to tackle Climate Change by changing their diet. I did see it coming; the Love Bug loves pasta with butter, period, and has already delivered a speech to her class about making Mondays meatless in their cafeteria. Still, it was a shock. It was like my daughter telling me she had to stop ballet classes when she turned 10. It was interfering with her schoolwork!

This weekend the Bride made meatless meatballs with chickpeas that were kind of like falafel. And she suggested we join them on a Zoom call with their friends (other doctors and environmental lawyers) about the agricultural impact of Climate Change. We learned that often rain forests are clear cut to make way for cattle grazing – and the more cows and sheep we consume, the more methane these animals produce.

“…global greenhouse gas emissions will need to fall by 40% to 50% in the next decade. Scientists say the only way to achieve that reduction is to significantly increase the amount of land that’s covered in trees and other vegetation and significantly reduce the amount of methane and other greenhouse gases that come from raising livestock such as cows, sheep and goats.

https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2019/08/08/748416223/to-slow-global-warming-u-n-warns-agriculture-must-change

Bob and I were not only intrigued, we were mortified. At least we are open to learning something new from our children. Ever since Bob turned 40 I’ve been trimming away red meat, making turkey meatballs for health reasons. Now, we can factor in a healthy planet for future generations. I only have two caveats – the production of cheese is considered to have a negative impact on the environment, and so is the farming of shrimp! These are two steps too far.

Tonight we’ll play Super Boggle and I’ll make veggie burgers just for fun.

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Why are we Americans so obsessed with the Royals?

I blame Disney. My generation wanted to grow up and have Tinkerbell spread some fairy dust over our heads, thereby turning us into princesses. I laughed out loud when watching “Hamilton” with the Grands whenever King George appeared – poor dear, he never thought you could just LEAVE your post the way George Washington did.

If you were born a Royal, you stayed a Royal, well, usually… until two American divorcees named Simpson and Markle came on the scene.

I was also enamored of another American girl, Grace Kelly. She was the beautiful Hitchcock actress who married her Prince Rainier of Monaco. The Flapper never let me forget that Kelly was also a Pennsylvania girl.

Thanks to Netflix’s “The Crown,” I’m feeling a certain camaraderie with the Windsors. And I was sorry to hear of Prince Philip’s death at 99. Married to Queen Elizabeth for 74 years, the Prince was known for sometimes appearing out of touch. I simply delighted in their love story.

The “Dr Who” actor, Matt Smith, didn’t quite do the Prince justice; the real Philip looked more dashing and debonair while playing second fiddle in real life to Queen Elizabeth. He had to leave his homeland in Greece because of a coup when he was just a baby, growing up without an anchor. Philip was a poorer, distant cousin without a castle, and Elizabeth fell in love with him when she was just 14 years old.

I need to catch up with the series, I’ve heard that Tobias Menzies brings a certain charm to an older Prince Philip.

But before I get lost in the streaming universe, I’ve got to finish gardening. It’s so warm here now that planting has begun in earnest. In the north, I wouldn’t start planting until Mother’s Day; but here in Nashville it’s usually Tax Day! Climate Change is messing with our timing, maybe we should say April Fool’s Day?

We’re almost done with vegetables and my herbs and flowers have been potted. Doves are dining on the tree stump next to the bird feeder. I keep a bowl of fresh water out too and was surprised to see a dove frolicking in the water.

“We still have to plant some impatiens in the ground,” I told Bob.

“And by WE, you mean me?” he replied.

Sometimes I don’t mind being the second fiddle at all. But mostly, it’s nice to be Queen.

The First Born sitting in our neighbor’s garden with the Second Born

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Like a first kiss, everyone can remember the very first time they voted.

I am still proud of my first presidential vote for George McGovern in 1972 over Richard Nixon. I was just 24 years old, and was pretty depressed with the results – the ONLY state McGovern won was the great Commonwealth of Massachusetts! He was an anti-war Democrat when Americans were becoming tired of Vietnam; a Senator from South Dakota with an impeccable reputation. But Nixon managed his huge victory through lies and innuendo, with Watergate looming on the horizon.

At least Nixon lowered the voting age from 21 to 18 in 1970 – ’cause if you can be drafted to die in Vietnam, you might as well be able to vote.

I remember my foster parents voting. It was the only time they would leave me alone in the house; they would get dressed up for the occasion, Nell would wear powder and lipstick, Jim would don a tie. They would never say who they voted for, but somehow I knew it was a straight-line Blue ticket. After all, Democrats were the party of working people, of unions, and even the Catholic Church! This was FDR and JFK’s legacy, they were like saints to us.

And then in 1965, LBJ signed into law the Voting Rights Act to end racial discrimination at the ballot box.

“Black people attempting to vote were often told by election officials that they gotten the date, time or polling place wrong, that the officials were late or absent, that they possessed insufficient literacy skills or had filled out an application incorrectly. Often African Americans, whose population suffered a high rate of illiteracy due to centuries of oppression and poverty, would be forced to take literacy tests, which they inevitably failed. Johnson also told Congress that voting officials, primarily in southern states, had been known to force black voters to “recite the entire constitution or explain the most complex provisions of state laws”–a task most white voters would have been hard-pressed to accomplish. In some cases, even Black people with college degrees were turned away from the polls.”

https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/johnson-signs-voting-rights-act

But as we know, so often passing a law and enforcing it are two different things. In the South, Republicans managed to continue to suppress the Black vote in covert ways. Outlawing a poll tax for example can be replaced by fewer and minimally staffed polling places in urban Black neighborhoods. Where there is a White Supremacist will, they will find a way – just as legislators are doing now in Georgia.

One of the most egregious changes Gov Kemp signed into law last week was cutting by half the number of days a person can request an absentee ballot. Due to Covid, in the last election about a quarter of the GA electorate voted absentee. And almost 65% of those voting absentee were for Joe Biden.

The first time I voted absentee was in VA. We were planning a trip over an upcoming November election, so we had to present ourselves to City Hall and state the reason we needed to vote early. You needed a reason, like a child getting a note from a doctor in order to return to school. Then after presenting our photo IDs, we sat down right there and voted with paper and pen.

This last election we requested absentee ballots, because… we’re old. TN Republicans didn’t think a global pandemic was a good enough reason to vote absentee. Bob thought it was funny that we didn’t need to prove who we were to anybody, just make the request online, and wait for it to be delivered. And wait, and wait. Then vote and seal it. I mean, who would hack a government agency? We hand-delivered our ballots, along with Ada and Hudson’s, to the official ballot box at Nashville’s historic US Post Office! Of course, sealing it “the right way” was tricky but we managed.

I wonder what my Nana would say because she was denied her right to vote over a century ago, after the 19th Amendment was passed. She had married an “Alien,” aka an Irish born citizen. What would my foster mom Nell think if she saw me in a face mask, voting at a post office? Would she wonder why Republicans are making it harder to vote than it is to buy a gun? I’d like to ask her out on our porch, while she was sipping an ice cold Royal Crown cola. I’ll have a Pepsi myself.

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I only know that it has to do with women,” Mr. Gaetz said. “I have a suspicion that someone is trying to recategorize my generosity to ex-girlfriends as something more untoward.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/01/us/politics/matt-gaetz-justice-department.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage

We just cannot look away from the scandal of a certain Florida Panhandle Republican. Last year, while we were vacationing on 30A, we learned that Gaetz was living with a young man he alternately introduced as his aide, his pool boy and sometimes his “son.” Although he never adopted a child, ever. But today, it looks like payments for sex thru certain Apps, to women as young as 17, is bound to catch up with him.

Winning the prize for Most Vile Republican (still in office) is now a toss-up, Matt Gaetz or Ted Cruz?

The Bride has been making plans for another trip to the lower Panhandle on 30A. Bookings in Florida are few and far between because most people want to travel by car during our pre and post pandemic transition. And I understand, being in an airport for the first time in a year was frightening. My only requirements for another getaway? A golf cart and a heated pool! Also, I’ve decided to only live in caftans from now on!

Bob was missing his hot tub last night as temps dropped down below freezing. Here in Nashville, Spring has arrived with a vengeance. The daffodils Ms Berdelle spread around town have finally opened, the ground is carpeted with cherry blossoms, and the recent flooding is receding. Doves coo and perform mating rituals outside my window; robins and squirrels remind me to refill the bird feeder.

We seem to be emerging from a long, dark pandemic winter – taking baby steps, not sure what this new, vaccinated normal will look like.

Human mating rituals have never been easy, even pre-Covid and before dating Apps. I’m feeling sorry for single people now, will they put a giant V on their profile picture to prove they’ve been vaccinated? Where will they go on a first date? Is it OK to do inside dining? What was Gaetz thinking when he arranged these liaisons?

“One person said that the men also paid in cash, sometimes withdrawn from a hotel ATM.

Some of the men and women took ecstasy, an illegal mood-altering drug, before having sex, including Mr. Gaetz, two people familiar with the encounters said.”

Imagine that, we are hearing about the drug habits of two very different men simultaneously – one was Black from Minnesota, the other is still alive, and White.

After a week of quarantine, and one sleepover, the Grands have returned to school, smiling inside their Happy Masks. And the Rocker and his Bride have resumed house hunting in LA. It’s a sellers market with very few homes available, but we’re confident the right property will pop up. And when it does, our designing, Daughter-in-Love will transform its bones into the perfect abode, complete with a separate music studio. Fingers crossed.

This week in Nashville we had our first dinner guests – aside from the small family pod. I actually put on real shoes and make-up. They came inside our house… bearing a salad… and we hugged… no masks. Small talk felt big at first, then we settled into a delightful evening. The crepe shop around the corner has reopened. Passover has passed and Easter is on the horizon.

Will Gaetz resign before the Resurrection?

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To all my Jewish friends celebrating Passover, I just hope you could sleep last night. We’ve been having some severe thunderstorms here in Central TN for a few days now, and tornado PTSD is real y’all! Ms Bean and I tossed and turned all night. Bob can sleep through anything.

Yesterday, thanks to the Bride, we stuffed ourselves with delicious matzoh balls, brisket and tzimmes and had a wonderful time up close and personal with the Grands and their other Grandparents too. Mike and Shavaun flew in from VA, and since we are all vaccinated, it was almost like a return to normal. We could all eat inside, unlike last year’s Zoom Seder. There was just one mishap.

I had put a stack of matzohs on the buffet behind the dining room table. When it was time to make the Hillel sandwich, I turned in my seat and picked up the platter full of matzoh. Unfortunately, these light as air unleavened Kosher wafers had been resting on a very heavy ironstone platter. You guessed it – my first matzoh injury of 2021!

Between bouts of back spasms and very loud, very close thunder, I was awake all night.

When I told Dr Jim and Aunt Kay about my back this morning, I was told to beware of the BLTs of aging:

  • Bending
  • Lifting
  • Twisting

Gone are the days when I could proudly display a skiing injury. All it takes now is a slip on the stairs or a twist in my seat. I sit at my desk writing, watching the squirrel I’ve named Kevin, contort him (or her) self into amazing acrobatic stunts to attack my bird feeder. Upside down, torqued into fantastical positions; and I think how lucky he is with his flair for the dramatic.

And I remember the snail grocery store I stocked with lettuce and papaya skins with the L’il Pumpkin in Hawaii. It was built out of lava rock. We learned these big snails are gastropods, and laughed about our only literary reference – the children’s book, “Escargot.” This was a favorite when he was little, about a French snail who wants to be your very favorite animal! Except, he doesn’t like carrots.

https://www.amazon.com/Escargot-Dashka-Slater/dp/0374302812

So we are slowly re-entering real life, and I’m thankful that I didn’t twist an ankle on lava hikes. The Rocker and Aunt KiKi have received their first shots in California. And this week we are having our first “all are vaccinated” dinner party. Life is progressing, love is winning. And Bob’s lettuce and kale are coming back in the garden – now I just need some tomato and bacon!

Happy Spring! And BTW, our Pumpkin lost his first tooth on the Big Island!

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Bob and I are home, with the Bride’s family in Nashville. The Rocker and Aunt KiKi are back in LA. Between airports and airplanes we’ve spent about 15 hours traveling and not sleeping, so let the jet lag begin! I never thought I’d be so happily punch/drunk/sleep/deprived in my life. But hey, who thought 2020 was going to happen?

We wore our masks everywhere – and an N95 to boot in the airports. Delta is still keeping that middle seat empty, so if you’re ready to book a trip, this airline is taking social distancing seriously. But pack some food, because meal service can be spotty. We were on our own from LA to The Big Island, but we flew home through Atlanta and actually had our choice of chicken or ravioli. Of course it wasn’t Pop Bob’s ravioli, but it wasn’t bad.

If a lava landscape looked like a delicious pan of brownies, coming out of the clouds over Tennessee looked like an explosion of Spring. I wasn’t used to that much greenery, or driving, or car alarms going off in the airport parking lot. Great Grandma Ada always talked about transitions, and how we need to re-enter the real world slowly after a vacation. We need to be kind to ourselves; and after this past year we all need to be extra kind.

I called my brother Dr Jim just to check in, the way I’d always call Ada.

We’re going to Zoom in a few minutes with my big sister Kay and our brother. Being the youngest of six, and now only three, we need to keep each other up to date. I wonder if the Flapper knows we are keeping track of each other? MN, NY and TN. She would be happy to hear that the baby she lost has become the one who keeps us together, via email and social media now. But soon, very soon, in real life too! The Groom wants to develop an App about “In Real Life.” But I can’t spoil the surprise.

It’s funny, only the the tippy top of my feet were burned in Hawaii. Guess I thought the sun couldn’t shine through my sandals. But Spring is here and the sun is shining and my beautiful tulip magnolia is in full bloom. Can you feel the warmth?

The Grands have to quarantine for the next week… so no school. We have a date for some Nutella crepes at the newly reopened Red Bicycle! Tornado schormado – French crepes will survive! We have faced an active volcano, a tornado and this pandemic. Nothing can stop us now!

Hope you have all got your vaccines scheduled and you’re ready to rumble!

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We’d been dreaming about this for months. Our first vacation after being vaccinated; it had to be epic. This year robbed us of so much, it was time – time to return to our usual French habitat. To rest and recuperate.

The Groom caught Covid while taking care of his ICU patients. The Grands did Pod-Zoom school, followed by a strange, masked and socially distant single desk school. And the Bride, well she endured months of too little PPE, and too much pain and suffering in her ER.

The Rocker and Aunt KiKi were lucky enough to work from home. But unlucky enough to split their living room into two separate work spaces. One for music (in a headphone) and one for design flanked by two cats and a guard dog named Leo.

But France had other ideas. They thought we Americans were just too much of a risk. And in some ways, they were right. Still, I don’t get why they let the Brits in, and the Germans.

Plan B began to take hold. Hawaii was part of the US, and they would welcome us! We were all vaccinated except for the Cali crew and the children but so long as we all had a negative Covid test within 72 hours of our flight, we’d be good to go. And one of the Groom’s uncles had a house on the Big Island.

We are exploring an active volcano, and eating poke. We are swimming and snorkeling with fish and turtles. We are reading and relaxing in the sun. Our nomadic family has found another happy place.

It’s almost impossible to comprehend the amount of loss this pandemic has inflicted, and Great Grandma Ada was expected to live forever. I silently offered a prayer to the Goddess Pele; her volcano is active now and we can see her fire and steam.

I could live here, on black lava that looks like brownies baking in a giant’s oven.

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Admit it. We were all glued to the TV last night listening to the Oprah interview, in a way the streaming generation could never understand. Like watching Murphy Brown and immediately calling your BFF to discuss. Only now, all we have is Twitter, and to be honest, I was so mesmerized by the Duchess of Sussex interview, I totally forgot to Tweet-along!

Feeling trapped, in a relationship or a toxic system, will never bode well. Prince Harry the Redhead gave us a lens into royal life. His family is afraid of the British tabloids, but seems to think they are a necessary evil. I couldn’t help but notice his pain, the trauma of losing his Mother Diana at the age of 12 was his “history repeating itself” reference.

“I really regret not ever talking about it,” Prince Harry said at an event for a mental health charity in 2016. “For the first 28 years of my life, I never talked about it. It is okay to suffer, but as long as you talk about it. It is not a weakness. Weakness is having a problem, and not recognizing it, and not solving that problem.” Harry has since become an advocate for mental health awareness.

https://www.oprahmag.com/entertainment/tv-movies/a29874597/princess-diana-death/

You could imagine Meghan and Harry being hunted by the press, and their subtle, racist barbs. Added onto that, the not-so-subtle conversation Harry had with a family member about the skin tone of the first mixed race royal baby. I prefer to think it was his Father, Prince Charles, who opined about his future grandchild’s color. The man who stopped taking his calls. The guy who cheated on Harry’s mum all along, makes me wonder if he was spearheading the process of no title and no security for baby Archie? Not that I’m holding a grudge or anything.

Being an American, Meghan spoke up. She knew she needed help, she explained she was suicidal. Like a brunette Rapunzel, she let her hair down and even went to “The Firm” for help. Once Meghan and Harry realized that help wasn’t forthcoming, they rescued each other. Like a modern day fairy tale, Meghan took matters into her own hands and they escaped the confines of the palace. She told Oprah they would be welcoming Archie’s little sister this summer. The best gender-reveal party ever!

Bob reminded me that Diana was just a kid when she married her prince, that Meghan had been 36 when she walked down the aisle, a few years older than Harry. Worldly and smart, she was an independent, woman with her own identity, her own residuals from “Suits.”

Today is International Women’s Day. So I’d like to close with Serena Williams’ tweet last night, because I couldn’t say it better:

“I know firsthand the sexism and racism institutions and the media use to vilify women and people of color to minimize us,” the tennis icon wrote. “We must recognize our obligation to decry malicious, unfounded gossip and tabloid journalism. The mental health consequences of systemic oppression and victimization are devastating, isolating and all too often lethal.”

Nobody puts Meghan in the corner. Here’s a little women’s history VP lesson from America: until the orange circle, Kamala, Serena and Meghan would still have been slaves. Until the pink, they would have no vote. Until blue their schools would have been segregated…

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The Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, apologized for his perceived behavior on Wednesday with a few of his aides. But once bitten, I’m finding it hard to give up on him.

I would ask Great Grandma Ada almost every day, “Did you watch President Cuomo?” With our past-serial-predator Mr T’s disastrous mismanagement of the coronavirus, we liked to pretend that Cuomo was our real president as he faithfully kept New Yorkers up-to-date through one of the biggest public health pandemics in the century. He took on epic proportions, he was handsome and down to earth. I knew very little about his personal life, but then we found out he was single, eureka! Ever the marriage counselor Ada and I had fun fantasizing about the next Mrs Cuomo.

So the feminist in me wants to believe the young women who have lodged sexual harassment allegations against the Governor. But I can’t help feeling like he’s been misunderstood.

First of all, he’s Italian. Bob tells me it’s similar to being Jewish – big extended families, lots of hugging and food all the time. So we have a cultural difference. Would I be happy if an older guy cupped my face and asked for a kiss? That would depend… we all know that guy who could hug just a little too tight and too long. Was this my boss, or my uncle or a friend of Ada’s perhaps? But asking for a kiss in a public place like a wedding does not seem malicious at all. I might turn my cheek for a kiss, or slip right by the face and offer a hug instead. If I felt repelled or cajoled, I’d push him away with a smart remark.

That cupped face picture at the wedding is reminiscent of the 11 year old picture of Al Franken on his comedy USO tour almost cupping (ie not actually touching) a woman’s breasts in her flak jacket for a laugh as she was sleeping. He was caught in the midst of the #MeToo movement and forcibly asked to resign in order to fill his Democratic seat in the Senate. There was NO due process and NO ethics investigation. Don’t forget, his previous job was Comedian! A Progressive pillar was sacrificed, to what end? This is part of his farewell speech to the Senate.

“I have earned a reputation as someone who respects the women I work alongside every day,” he said, soon after a former Democratic Senate aide accused him of trying to kiss her after his radio show in 2006. “I know there has been a very different picture of me painted over the last few weeks, but I know who I really am.”

https://www.vox.com/2018/5/21/17352230/al-franken-accusations-resignation-democrats-leann-tweeden-kirsten-gillibrand

Maybe seeing is NOT believing. We are being asked to believe what Cuomo’s intentions were… If there’s one piece of Ada’s marriage advice I’ve clung to over the years, it’s that a man doesn’t really know what you’re thinking unless you tell him! We may want him to intuit that we really need a neck rub, but if we don’t actually say this it won’t happen magically. In fact, the clinical term for this is magical thinking. So in the same respect, did Cuomo’s aide just think he wanted a relationship? And is it a crime?

Think back to Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas. I was dumbstruck by that investigation; a judge had been talking about porn and asking his clerk for dates constantly. She didn’t need to intuit what he wanted, he was constantly telling her exactly what he wanted sexually. If only Hill, in 1991, had a smart phone in her pocket to record his harassment. That man is now a judge on the Supreme Court. I had debilitating deja vu when the Kavanaugh committee hearings started. And this is where the trouble lies, at the intersection of youth and gender with political power. It’s the age vs time difference.

Thirty years ago things were different. There was no worldwide pandemic for one, and the Bride was twelve years old. She was learning about HIV in health class, and I was trying to empower her fierce, feminist side. She actually wrote a letter to then Senator Biden, asking him to run for President! Biden has a reputation for being “handsy” himself, but in a good way. Let’s not go overboard with our #MeToo sensitivity. We wanted empathy and compassion back in the White House, and we’ve got it. Should we pillory a highly competent, progressive Governor who thought a little flirting with a staffer was innocent? After all, over the years I’ve known a few married couples with big age differences, one friend married her law professor. The NY Governor was lonely, and if these women felt threatened, they should have told him to knock it off. Then go to HR if it continued.

After all, where else would a guy with a pandemic on his plate even meet a woman in lockdown? Let’s not let the GOP or the Pro-T Patriot Party incite another culture war to their advantage. Let the process play out, take a rest.

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