My Perspective: Angry Won’t Win

My Perspective Angry Wont Win

It was a gorgeous last Saturday.

 

The sun was shining, the temperature finally represented the month on the calendar and we were ready throw a party. We just needed a few last minute items from the store, because you can’t have a birthday party without ice cream.

 

E and I walked hand in hand, laughing and talking about his party. Once we entered the store our smiles quickly faded.

 

We stood at the entrance and watched in horror as a mother beat her child in the produce section. I’m not sure how many times she slapped him, because I lost count. The store was silent, but for the sounds of her hand making contact with skin and his screams. As the three year old crumpled to the floor crying, his mother yanked him up by the back of his pants and put him back on his feet.

 

I felt like I had just been slapped. Did that really just happen in my hometown grocery store? What is this world coming too?

 

E cuddled closer to me, scared and confused by the entire situation. He even started getting teary-eyed. Immediately I leaned down and hugged him to me. “I feel sad for that little boy,” he said. “Me too baby,” I replied, holding him even tighter.

 

Sadness and anger swept through me as I watched everyone else just go on about their business, even myself. We all did nothing, but watch the horror unfold. Not one of us came to that little boy’s rescue.

 

As E and I continued through the store we had to stop right next to the little boy, his mother and someone whom I’m assuming was his grandmother. The little boy was still crying, tears streaming down his cheeks all while his grandmother berated him, calling him a cry baby and telling him to shut the “f” up.

 

I want to say something to scream at her just like she was screaming at him. But I couldn’t, because I was scared. First of all the woman was a mountain – 6 feet tall, and probably 200 pounds, and if she had that much rage in her heart what would she do to me or my son? I couldn’t risk it, and there wasn’t enough violence to call the police {which made me even madder and sadder}.

 

Choking back tears, I turned to walk away, but not before I saw something miraculous. Out of all the people standing there – store clerks, mothers, fathers and others it was a little old lady who finally intervened.

 

She intervened the way little old ladies do – by doting on little kids. “Awww, it’s ok little guy,” she cooed to the boy. “It’s ok.”

 

For a moment I braced myself as the grandmother turned toward her readying myself for the worst. “You want him? You can have him,” she shouted.

 

Seriously?

 

You know an hour later I had the perfect comeback to that statement, but at the time nothing …

 

I wanted to tell her that I would take him. That I had friends who have lost babies and can’t have babies, and have so many babies, but would take another, because that little boy deserved better.

 

He deserved a freaking chance – a chance to know love, kind words and a life without violence.

 

But I didn’t I just stood there silent, and held my son.

**

The next day, I needed to go to Wal-Mart. Seriously NOT my favorite place to go, but it’s close to the house and I needed a cake mix and some eggs to make cupcakes.

 

Quickly I grabbed all my groceries and made my way to the checkout.

 

As I approached the line, a man was standing just outside the lane talking with his wife, debating which line to choose. I totally understand this as the Wal-Mart checkout is often the abyss and you can spend hours lost in one line.

 

No biggie.

 

Eventually they choose. Picking the line I was standing in. They put their purchase on the conveyor belt, but continue blocking the lane. I attempt to make my way around them and up to the checkout so I can set my purchases on the conveyor belt behind his. At which point, he gets in my face yelling at me. He starts going on and on about how there are people in front of me and I just need to wait my turn.

 

Now…any other time I probably would have kept my mouth shut, and moved to another line, but…after what happened a day earlier there was NO way I was going to let another angry person bully me.

 

So I politely said, “Oh, I’m not cutting in line. I just want to put my stuff on the counter.”

 

Silence and stink eye.

 

He continues stink eyeing me all throughout his purchase.

 

And when he was done I told him to enjoy his movie and have a nice day.

 

At which point he yelled “FU, kiss my a$$.”

 

Awesome, but at least I said and did something.

**

After the two incidents my heart is just broken by the world in which we live.

 

Why are people so ANGRY?

 

Is the economy?

 

Is it stress?

 

Or are they just angry people and will never change?

 

I don’t know the answers, but I do know one thing if you are going to be a bully and an ahole you better expect that I WILL be standing up for myself and others. I’m done letting angry win in this world.

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My Perspective: In Defense of the Selfie

In Defense of the Selfie #365feministselfie via Redhead Reverie

“Oh, this is cool,” I think to myself as I whip out my phone, hit the camera button, extend my arm out as far as it will go and click the button.

 

SNAP.

 

I just took a selfie.

 

In defense of the Selfie via Redhead Reverie

 

One of officially hundreds I’ve taken since the invention of the smart phone.  “Only narcissists and teenage girls take selfies you know,” joked a friend.

 

And at that moment I got mad. REALLY mad.

 

Selfies get such a bad rap… see horrible video

 

 

But thanks to the selfie I’m part of my family again.

 

In the Pre-selfie years according to iPhoto and the pictures that hung on my walls I didn’t exist.

 

I was the invisible mom.

 

I would lug my big camera to the playground, farmers market, Kindermusik class and snap photos of the littles, their little smiles lighting up my heart and my camera lens.

Clear Lake 2012

 

Later at home I’d download the joyful images of my family, stuffing as many photo files as I could onto the already crowded hard drive of my computer. I grew sad as I watched moments on file that I wasn’t and couldn’t be a part of. In the eyes of the photo documentary my children were orphans, their mother absent from their lives, not playing, not smiling, nothing. There was no evidence I even existed.

 

I was there but behind the lens instead of in front of it.

 

There but not REALLY there.

 

My husband, who is also in this predicament isn’t as upset. He HATES to have his photo taken, so his absence was voluntary.

 

Mine however, was not.

 

I wanted to be in those photos with them not because I’m a narcissist, but because sometimes I want to make a funny face for the camera too.

 Crazy Town

 

The thing is it wasn’t just photos of me with my children it was all photos, at what point do we as moms think we don’t deserve some camera time? The lens is used to capture beauty, laughter and joy.

 

I have all those things and I can make a mean duck face too.

 Duck Face

 

So, I’m advocating for the selfies, get out there and stop being invisible.

 

Make yourself be seen and heard.

 

You are a mom, show it.

 

You are a triathlete, show it.

 

You wore something other than sweat pants, show it.

 

You are beautiful, SHOW it.

 

I’m participating in the #365feministselfie project and you should too.

 

It’s time to be seen.

 

**

Learn more about the #365feministselfie here.

My Perspective: 6 Ways to Ignite Love in Your Marriage

Each year about this time I start waxing philosophic about marriage and love. Perhaps it’s because of Valentine’s Day, but most likely it’s because Valentine’s Day is the anniversary of our first date. Yep, we went to an anti-Valentines Day party at a local bar and as “Love Stinks” played in the background we fell in love.

 

That was 1999, before Facebook, Twitter, smartphones all of it. I would use my pre-paid calling card and sit in the University library lobby talking with my now hubs on a pay phone between classes. I wanted to hear his voice and his laugh. I miss that laugh…

 

Hell I miss my own laughter.

 

Wedding Day

 

Our marriage over the years has evolved. Between the demands of work and kids our days resemble that of Bill Murray’s in Groundhog Day. Wake up, drop off kids, head to work, pick up kids, head home, cook dinner, do homework, give baths, read books, tuck in and pass out in chair. Rinse and repeat…

 

It’s enough to snuff out the little flame of love in anyone’s heart.

 

Not that I’m an expert or anything, but here are a some thoughts on how I {try to} keep that flame blazing…

 

6 Ways to Ignite Love in Your Marriage via @RedheadReverie

 

Always say yes

I received this advice from a wonderful friend who is open and honest about her sex life. Offhandedly I asked her how she keeps the spark alive and this was her answer. It’s taken me some time, but I’ve learned to embrace it. {Sometimes it’s difficult, especially when I’m angry about the day or just plain tired} However, there was never once a time I regretted saying yes…more often I regretted saying no.

 

My Marriage is not your Marriage so stop the Comparing

About six months ago I read a blog post {or two or three} in which the writers commented on their wonderful marriages, how they never fight, they hold hands, their husband cooks dinner and so on and so forth. While I’m overjoyed that these folks have found the loves of their lives and they are so FANTASTICALLY AWESOME. It triggered my brain to start comparing, and that’s when for no reason whatsoever I got mad at my husband.

 

Instead of concentrating all the things he does well {nose doinks, parenting, doing our taxes, earning money for us to eat, making kickass waffles and cleaning the house} I concentrated on all the thing he didn’t do. Not very productive…also would I want him to do the same to me? No! So it’s time to STOP the comparing whether it is with friends, family, or the movies. Our marriage is unique just like us.

 

Kids will change your marriage

Not a lot of people will admit it, but kids change marriage. Sleep deprivation, constant touching and catering to everyone’s needs can suck your mojo dry. The last thing you want to do is be touched or even listen to another person’s voice. The thing to keep in mind is the kids won’t {hopefully} live with you forever, but your spouse will. You need to make the time and say yes {see above} because otherwise once your kids have flown the coop you will be left staring at a stranger.

 

Say “I’m sorry” and “I forgive you”

I have the kids say this to each other whenever they have an argument or someone has committed a “wrong”. The act of apologizing and forgiving is truly a balm on a wounded heart, and it can thwart building resentments too. It’s a win, win.

 

Don’t say “fine”

Whenever I’m ticked off about something the hubs knows it. He can tell by how many doors I slam, how many grunts and grumbles I make and how many times I say “fine” when he asks what’s bugging me. I am the queen of “fine” town and let’s just say that’s not a great place to live. It’s full of resentment, pent up anger and frustration that never gets resolved.

 

My residency in “fine” town was created because I hate confrontation. As the product of divorced parents, I truly believed that arguments and confrontations would lead to the big D-word {divorce}. However, I soon realized that the resentments, anger and frustration at NOT voicing my issues would soon deteriorate my relationship. It’s taken time and a lot of bravery, but I’m finally starting to speak up. Seriously, if my husband is going to divorce me because I’m angry about dishes in the dishwasher, then that’s his issue not mine.

 

Little Acts of Love Make a Big Difference

When the hubs and I first started dating, the wooing process consisted of cute pet names for each other, roses just because and fancy dinners. After 15 years and two kids I don’t need these large expressions of love, because to me it’s the simple things that make my heart sing.

 

Like coming home from the gym and finding the kitchen clean and the house vacuumed or a nose doink in passing as we tackle the boys’ bedtime routine. Sometimes all it takes is a Facebook “like” or an IM asking about my day. It lets me know he’s thinking about me. Keep in mind these acts of love are a two way street, and I need to fill his bucket too.

 

Love and marriage are complicated, messy and sometimes irritating, but in the end the rewards are truly worth it.

 

Because there’s no one in the world that I’d rather binge watch X-files with, raise two rambunctious boys or come home to after a crazy day than this guy.

 

Me and the HubsPhoto by Towler Photography

For those of you like myself  who have a tendency toward comparing or feeling guilty for not having the “perfect” marriage.
Keep in mind no one’s marriage is perfect it’s just perfect for them.
Now go hug your husband.

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