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When did name-calling become acceptable behavior?

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Sorry, this post isn’t book related.  I’ve had ‘name-calling’ on my mind for a while but specifically for the last several weeks and today I reached my breaking point.

Several weeks ago I was walking a property with a customer.  As she and I turned a corner in the backyard, one of the neighbors came up to his fence and started yelling at her.  He was upset about, what I considered, several inconsequential things.  But, if he feels he needs to address something with his neighbor, fine.  I wasn’t a fan of his tone but my customer didn’t let it bother her so I ignored it.  THEN…now keep in mind that to this point she had not responded to him at all and had listened calmly…he called her a “fat assed bitch” among a few other choice words and told her not to give him that look.  He walked away muttering.  Some people may think I’m naive but I didn’t grow up in a world where men talked to women that way so it took me a few seconds to even process what had just happened.  My customer then turned to me and said that it was the first time they had ever spoken.  She was fine with moving on but I was shaken.  It wasn’t directed at me but I felt dirty having even witnessed it.

On social media we see name calling every day as a normal course of action.  How sad is it that we consider that “normal” now?  Yesterday Twitter exploded with racist and misogynist attacks on Leslie Jones, one of the stars of the new Ghostbusters films.  She was called horrid names that I won’t repeat…because people either didn’t like the movie or didn’t think it should have been remade with female leads.  Are you kidding me?  Male stars do not have to deal with this level of idiocy.  What has happened in our world that allows someone sitting at a keyboard to think it’s okay to talk that way to women?  (Notice that I didn’t say “some man”.  Some of the worst attacks on women come from other women which is another topic in itself.)

I’ve been clear that I hate politics and pretty much all politicians (there are exceptions where I see someone actually trying to do good but they are too few and too far between.)  Rather than debating issues, most of politics is now “I’m better than him/her” or just name calling.  Regularly, Hillary Clinton is called “Killary” on Facebook along with the old standards, bitch and c***.  Even more disturbing is the regular use of derogatory terms basically calling her a lesbian.  This is supposedly from ultra-conservatives who preach love and peace.  Really?  I’m sorry but Jesus isn’t okay with this.  I don’t remember the passage in Matthew, Mark, Luke or John that said it’s okay to call someone a c*** because you don’t like their politics.

Today the internet is abuzz about Melania Trump.  Again, I don’t care if you agree or disagree with her or her husband.  But, she is a human being.  And a woman.  A mother!  She has been called every name in the dictionary that could be an insult to women.  All of them are disturbing.  But you know what bothered me the most?  “Mail order bride”.  This gem is supposedly coming from liberals who preach that woman are equal and should be treated with respect.  Is that only when they agree with you?  Because I don’t think this is treating her with respect.  Criticize her speech, her politics or her choice in spouse.  But calling an immigrant who has come to this country a mail order bride and making fun of her accent is the height of hypocrisy.

If the best you can do when communicating with someone is to call them a name, then you might want to reconsider your argument.  We need to get back to having serious discussions and not act like chimps throwing poop at each other.

Moving day thoughts

This is more like a cathartic journal entry than a blog post. I apologize in advance. 

  

In late January we noticed that a home (same floor plan as ours) sold very quickly in our neighborhood. Curious, we looked up the sales price and found that it was an amount that we would be happy to accept for our own house.  We had planned to stay for a few more years even though we weren’t super happy here if I’m being honest. It’s hard to use the outdoor space as the houses are so close together and with the influx of young families came a lot of noise.  I love kids but sometimes I want to sit on my porch and drink coffee without having to listen to 20 of them screaming in the street. 

With minimal expectations, we listed our house with the realtor that sold the other home. Lo and behold, about a week later we had an accepted offer. Panic time set in. Within a few days we had to find a new house, make an offer and start the painful process of MOVING. 

Today we are finally almost there. The movers are packing up the truck as I type. Yet my stomach is in knots and I don’t feel the excitement that I hoped. 

In some ways this was an easy sale and move. The realtor sold our house in a week. My husband and I have moved enough that we were very organized with the packing so that all the movers have to do is put everything on the truck. We love the house we are buying. With over an acre and woods on 3-sides, we will finally have the privacy and quiet that we have craved. 

So, what’s wrong?  Partly, I won’t be able to relax until we have the keys for the new house in our hands. I’m pretty sure the people purchasing our current home are first time homebuyers and their realtor must be fairly new. They were over an hour late when they originally looked at the house which meant I had to leave twice. With two collies. Then the inspection. Don’t get me started. Honestly everything they asked for was minor and cosmetic and that isn’t the purpose of the inspection. But you get to a certain point in the process and you just want it done so you agree even though it kind of infuriates you. And for some reason they showed up when the termite guy came to do the CL100. Um, dudes, no one does that. And even if they do, you need to knock on the door to let me know you are here before you go rummaging around in my garage and walking through the yard like you already own the place. That wasn’t cool and almost made me lose it. We went to sign our portion of the paperwork Friday so that tomorrow could be all about the purchase of our new home. Do you think it went as planned?  Nope, the buyers attorney had not sent the HUD. Still haven’t seen it. And that has to be done before we can buy our new house. 

It doesn’t help that I’m self employed and in the thick of busy season. Luckily I have some great employees and great customers. Only a few people have really tried my patience. When one customer sent me a text a few days ago telling me to HURRY, I almost snapped but as Elsa says I’ve decided to “Let it Go.”  It’s spring. We’re landscapers. It’s busy. Get over it. (By the way, I’m not being flippant. I am consistently told we are the most responsive service provider that people work with and that we get estimates out and work done quicker than almost everyone.)

I’m trying to have faith that all will go as planned or at least close enough to plan tomorrow. Like I said, all I want is the keys to my new house. And about 3 bottles of wine that first night. 

Review – Wizard and Glass (The Dark Tower IV) by Stephen King

Wizard and Glass“As for me, I choose the tower.”

Wizard and Glass picks up right where we left off at the end of Book 3.  Roland and his ka-tet (Eddie, Susannah, Jake and Oy) are on the Blaine train and fighting for their lives with riddles.  Spoiler – they make it (what did you expect, we have many more books to go).  This was a good start but the real meat of the story begins after the train ride.  Roland owes his ka-tet some stories from his history.  We learn of Roland’s first and only true love, Susan Delgado.  But, this is so much more than a love story.  It’s about friendship – Roland, Cuthbert and Alain share a brotherhood and their bonds are tested.  Roland’s mother and father provide another layer of history.  Cort, Roland’s teacher.  Rhea, the witch.  Cordelia, the bitter aunt.  Each character brings something special – whether wonderful or truly awful – to Wizard and Glass.

Roland, Cuthbert and Alain’s relationship was one of the best parts of W&G for me.  They drew me in and never let go.  Susan, I knew that you would bring heartbreak for Roland and for us as readers.  I got a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach about halfway through and it’s still there even after finishing.  Susan is lovely and smart.  I couldn’t help but like her.  But, you go into it knowing it won’t end well.  It does give us background on where Roland’s obsession with the Tower began and how he became cold and unfeeling.

King references characters from other novels.  There is a good amount of tie-in to The Stand and Randall Flagg makes an appearance.  The turtle is referenced.  King also brings in some of The Wizard of Oz (more the movie than the original book) but it was done seamlessly.  Let’s just be honest, he is a genius.

5/5 stars and I wish I had more to give.  I know some of you don’t read King because of the HORROR.  Give this series a try.  It’s about friendship, family, the folly of youth, mistakes and their repercussions.

Here are a few of my favorite quotes to whet your appetite:

“Because it’s trouble,” Roland said, “and it’s in our road.  We’ll get there in time.  No need to live in trouble until trouble comes.”

“…it is from here that the blood will begin to flow.  In two years, no more, the world as it has been will be swept away. It starts here. From its field of roses, the Dark Tower cries out in its beast’s voice. Time is a face on the water.”

“True love, like any other strong and addicting drug, is boring — once the tale of encounter and discovery is told, kisses quickly grow stale and caresses tiresome… except, of course, to those who share the kisses, who give and take the caresses while every sound and color of the world seems to deepen and brighten around them. As with any other strong drug, true first love is really only interesting to those who have become its prisoners.  And, as is true of any other strong and addicting drug, true first love is dangerous.”

“If it’s ka it’ll come like a wind, and your plans will stand before it no more than a barn before a cyclone”