Saturday, February 26, 2011

The One Where I'm Angry and a Little Political

I don't generally discuss politics here, first of all, because I don't pay attention to it and therefore don't want to sound ignorant, talking about things I know nothing about. Secondly, because a lot of times, it's just unpleasant.

But here's the thing.

Our government here is doing such a bang-up job of screwing everyone over, I feel compelled to talk about it.

The first thing on the list: Old, fat, white men screwing with women's reproductive system.

In Georgia, Rep. Bobby Franklin has (re!) introduced a bill to make it a felony to have a miscarriage if the mother can't prove that there was no "human involvement." The miscarriage would be re-defined as "pre-natal murder" unless the woman can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that no outside source had anything to do with it.

OK, Rep. Franklin you pretentious bastard. Are you aware that between 10 and 15 percent of pregnancies can end in a miscarriage? Are you aware that there are many, many more than even that that take place before a woman is even pregnant? Oftentimes (not always, but often), the body miscarries a pregnancy because there is something terribly wrong with the fetus. The baby wouldn't have made it anyway, so it's nature's way of taking care of those types of things.

What if an unsuspectingly pregnant woman is, say, 3 weeks pregnant. Let's say she goes out and has a glass of wine. Say she then, a week later, miscarries the pregnancy she didn't know she had. She feels weird, so she goes to the doctor, and then doctor's like, "Oh, BTW. You were pregnant."

Is that her fault? Would Rep. Douchebag Franklin's bill say that because she had that glass of wine, and it COULD HAVE caused a miscarriage, she's to blame? What if it would have terminated itself anyway? How could you possibly know?

What infuriates me about this is that it's a man proposing this bill. A man that will never, not even once in his life, know what it's like to lose a pregnancy, a child you were waiting for and hoping for that, for whatever reason, just wasn't meant to carry to term. You could argue that maybe his wife could experience that (except I don't think he's married. . .I couldn't find that anywhere) but he himself will never have to go through that.

For even suggesting this should be a thing, for even putting it out there for people to have to look at and think about, Rep. Assface Franklin should be kicked out of politics and never allowed to return.

Admittedly, yes. There are people who do really, really dumb stuff when they're pregnant. People who go through with the pregnancy, but go out and knock back a few at the bar every night, people who do hard drugs, people who continue to smoke through their pregnancy. THOSE are the people that need going after. The people who don't? Those people who just go about their day and, for whatever reason, have their bodies turn against them.

Next: The potential cutting of of funding for Planned Parenthood.

I'm sure this subject has been all over the blog world, and all over everywhere, but I have been avoiding it. I've been avoiding it because I find it so hard to accept that people are just so damn ignorant.

It's the anti-abortion people who are all up into this bill. (Note: I don't have a real, honest-to-God opinion on the subject. Not like Justin Bieber, who feels abortion is wrong, even in cases of rape, because "everything happens for a reason." I think that, if you don't want kids, you need to do everything in your power to avoid conceiving them, but that in some cases, yeah, abortion is the option you might need to take. Doesn't mean I'd run out and get one myself, but I (unlike the Biebs) know that I can't have a legit opinion on something I don't have any experience with. (Another note: He does say at the end of that interview that he doesn't know about it, so he can't really talk about it, but that was after he made his ridiculous comments. If he knows he doesn't know anything about it, he should probably, you know, not say anything about it. But I digress.)

Anyway, the fact is, only about 3% of what PP does is abortion-related, and none of that (by law) is funded by government money. So you're not actually cutting down on any abortions paid for by the government at all if you get rid of PP. You're getting rid of pap smears, mammograms ,STD testing, birth control options, cancer screenings. . .basically a lot of the things that low-income people need to keep themselves reproductively and breastily healthy.

They're basically voting to get rid of all of the pregnancy prevention options PP offers. So that will account for more unwanted pregnancies which will lead to. . .yeah. MORE abortions. And probably unsafe ones. Because if these women have nowhere to go, and they're desperate, my guess is that they're going to do whatever they have to to stop the pregnancy. So then you're just going to have a lot of ill women and some really messed up kids running around. And a lot of them will, most likely, need government funding anyway because they weren't ready to have a kid, especially not a kid with special needs (due to the ill-fated pregnancy termination attempts) and. . .do you see where I'm going with this?

We do not live in a Christian nation. This is a fact. Our Founding Fathers were not all God-fearing Christians as we often portray them. We're allowing the fundamentalism of a religion, not a national religion, but just a big one, make laws. Doesn't seem fair to me. Also doesn't seem fair to me that all of the pregnancies that could have been avoided if people had proper care that resulted in unwanted children will result in. . .children who are unwanted, and treated as such.

I'm getting ranty and stabby right now, so I'm going to stop.

What I would like to do is to ask the gentlemen (and ladies!) in Washington and the people in Georgia to please keep their agendas and hands off of my ovaries.

Thank you.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The One With the Florists

I got another anonymous comment the other day. On the entry about My First Flamer, Mr. or Ms. (my money's on Ms.) Anonymous eloquently said, "This is so dumb."

I'm not sure if the entry was considered dumb or the comment I was writing about was dumb. Either way, I thought to myself, "Self, why put up with it? Why give anonymous jerks the opportunity to be anonymous jerks?" So I took the anonymous comment option off.

Moving on.

I have a story after which I'll ask a question. A question about loyalty. I'd be interested to know other people's opinions.

D and I have a friend, who I'll call Dave. Dave owns a flower shop in a small town. Dave was in a car accident a couple years ago, leaving him paralyzed from (I believe) the neck down. He worked his way toward being completely self-reliant, being able to walk, and still being able to run his shop. He's a friend, but he's also one of D's clients, for whom D has done some signage and some business cards.

Apparently, about a year ago, Dave had a woman working with him (we'll call her Fran) who approached him about selling outdoor plants. Dave doesn't sell outdoor plants, and doesn't know anything about selling outdoor plants, so he let her set up shop outside his shop, sell her plants, and keep all the money from it. He also taught her everything he knows about indoor flowers: making bouquets, the care and keeping of flowers, arrangements, stuff like that.

After she stopped working for him, a few months passed, and she came back, asking if she could rent Dave's shop. Dave's response was, basically, "Um. . .NO!?" So then she tells him that she's renting a shop of her own. . .directly across the street. This woman opened a florist shop across the street from the florist shop that had taught her how to BE a florist.

Pretty bitchy, right?

So here comes the morally sketchy part of it. At least, the morally sketchy part of it that has something to do with me.

I was in the neighborhood of Dave's shop earlier today (having just had a nannying interview) (stop laughing), and so I stopped by to see if the signs D had done for him pre-Valentine's Day had helped generate any business. Dave wasn't there because he was out doing a delivery, so I told the girl behind the counter to tell him I'd stopped by.

As I'm driving away, I look at the new florist across the street and decide (because I'm by myself and bored) to do some reconnaissance. I walk into the shop (which is pretty bare, but cheerful-looking enough) and Fran's there. She and I are the only ones in the shop.

She asks if she can help me, and I do not lie. I tell her I'm getting married at some point and was stopping by florists today. (This is true. I'm getting married. . .some day, and I HAD stopped by a florist prior to stopping by HER florist shop, so no lies here.)

She immediately starts telling me that she hasn't done MANY weddings, but that she has done a few, and gives me some ideas. She asks me questions like how many people, how many family members, what colors, and so on.

And I find myself. . .really liking her. To the point where, when she admitted she didn't have a Web site, I almost told her my fiance does sites and she should give him a call. But then I thought, maybe not the best idea, since he does a lot of work for Dave.

Also, this trip had the added effect of making me really, really want a real wedding. Not a big one, but a wedding nonetheless. But I know that if we wait to get married until we can afford a real wedding, it'll be ANOTHER year, maybe more, that we'll stay in Engaged Limbo, and I'll risk becoming like Pam Beesly on "The Office." So that's frustrating. Wanting that day, but not being able to afford it in the least.

But my question is this: How crappy would it be, knowing the story and knowing what happened, to do business with her, either by buying flowers for my fictional wedding or by recommending her to D? What she did was pretty underhanded, but she seems to like doing what she's doing.

I don't know, but I'm feeling morally ambiguous.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The One With Traffic Court

Happy February, everyone! I finally took all of my Christmas decorations down today, and the living room is looking bright and cheerful and decidedly not Christmasy.

You guys? I have a confession to make. Back in December, I got a ticket. Not for speeding (stop pretending to be shocked), but because my tag was expired. I'd had my inspection done, but the tag wasn't up to date. It cost less than $50 to do, but every month, it literally came down to "Am I going to buy insulin this month, or am I going to update my tag?" After I got the ticket, D paid for the tag for me. So now I'm good until July.

So anyway, I got this ticket back in December and I had to wait until yesterday for my court date. I've gotten tickets before. Not including this last one (which wasn't actually a ticket, per se, but a citation), I've had 3 tickets. My very first one was for making a right on red when the sign said not to, and the other ones were speeding tickets. (For some reason, I don't ever remember to slow down a little around the holidays when the cops are out in FULL FORCE.)

Any time I've gotten a ticket in the past, I've just paid it and the court costs. The first one, I got an hour and a half from home, the second was about two and a half hours from home, and the third was about an hour from home. It was better for me to just pay them, because I was working full time at the time and didn't have the time to drive to the county where I got the ticket to appeal it. And I haven't, until December, had a ticket since 2009.

Since I'm not working full time currently, I had the time to go to court yesterday. The ticket said to be at the courthouse at 7:45 (A.M.!!), so we set out about half an hour before that and, blessedly, made it on time.

Up until this point, I'd been freaking out. Whenever I get pulled over, I cry. Not because I think it'll help my case, but because I can't help it. I cry when I get the least bit stressed out, not because I'm sad or upset, but just because that's what happens. And believe me, it does not endear me to anyone. (Clearly, considering my ticket history.) I was worried I'd get up in front of a judge and be like, "I. . .um. . .I wanted to see if I could. . .get. . .mercy of the court?" and then I'd cry.

I'd cry while explaining why I hadn't done it, I'd cry while explaining that I'd had it done the next day because someone had paid for it for me, and I'd cry when they told me to stop crying.

So I dressed professionally, trying not to look like someone that did stuff like this all the time. I looked it up online, trying to figure out what was going to happen, trying to prepare myself to be cuffed and thrown to the ground if I didn't answer a question properly. I put a book in my bag in case I was waiting a long time. (Granted, I don't think pulling out a book in court would have been the smartest thing I'd ever done, but I like to be prepared.) I also put a granola bar in my bag in case it took a long time and my blood sugar went low.

I'm pretty much freaking out on the trip over there, and going through the security station didn't help. The wand beeped on me (like it always does) and I explained to the guard that it was an insulin pump. Nothing else made it go off, but I had a Sarah Moment when I couldn't get the belt on my jacket untied because I was wearing gloves. Then I tried taking one of the gloves off, but apparently, it's also difficult to untie a belt with one free hand.

Then I got in line.

There was a line of about 25 people in front of me when I got there. I checked in and got in line behind this guy who was probably 3 or 4 years younger then me, dressed to the nines in a suit and tie. He looked nervous. I knew the feeling.

I watched people get their name called and go up to the DA and get directed into a courtroom. Some other people got a court date of March 1 when they had to come back, and I was trying to figure out the rhyme and reason behind the people who got sent into the courtroom and the people who had to come back next month.

Finally, it was my turn (and actually, I say finally, but this whole process probably took 10 to 15 minutes). I gave my citation to the DA with visions of crying in front of judges and trying to explain myself to mean-looking police officers. He asked if I had proof of getting the tag updated. I handed that to him.

Then he said, "OK, charges have been dismissed. Have a wonderful day."



No court? No judge? No sloppily running mascara rolling down my face? Nothing going on my permanent record and having potential employers say, "Oh, I see you didn't update your license plate at the end of 2010. Sorry. Next!"

That was it.

I walked out into downtown and called D to tell him I was done.

And instead of going to jail, we went to McDonald's.

And that's my story. I guess I'm now an ex-con. I should go get a tattoo of barbed wire around my arm.