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Do you know what I’ve discovered about Easter? 90 million chocolate bunnies and 16 BILLION jelly beans are said to be consumed during a season that follows 40 days of abstaining for the Christian Lent—usually from sweets. Easter hasn’t even arrived yet, and I’ve consumed at least two-million jelly beans, but the good news is that I gave up chocolate bunnies for Lent since I’m a chocoholic. I made six giant Easter baskets for family and friends, and every time I threw in a handful of jelly beans into a basket I snarfed down two handfuls of beans with a swig of Diet Coke (one must maintain one’s diet, now mustn’t one?), but I abstained from the chocolate bunnies. Sometime after the consumption of 500,000 jelly beans, I fell into a sugar coma and would have stayed passed out for days had not a life-sized bunny knocked on my front door and, in my foggy-state-of-mind, asked me to take a bite out of his ass.

Chocolate Bunny By Josef Türk Jun via Wikimedia Commons

Chocolate Bunny By Josef Türk Jun via Wikimedia Commons

ME: I beg your pardon? Who are you? Are you a zombie in a bunny disguise?

E. BUNNY: Ah, nooooo. Do I look like a zombie? I’m Mr. Chocolate-E-Bunny.

ME: I can see you’re a bunny—albeit a six-foot-tall bunny—and a chocolate one at that, but you could be hiding all manner of characteristics under that chocolate undercoating. Take me for instance [slightly slurred speech from sugar intoxication], I’m a human female, chocolate in color, and perfectly normal at first glance, but I could be your worst nightmare if you mess with me. I’m also a chocolate lover, baby, so come on in and make yourself at home. Unfortunately, I can’t fulfill your request now—I don’t do chocolate Easter Bunnies anymore. I gave you up for Lent.

E. BUNNY: [E. Bunny pushes his way into my foyer and almost knocks me over in the process] It says here in my manifest that you gave up all sweets for Lent, but up until a few minutes ago you were passed out from a jelly bean overdose. Kind of hypocritical, don’t you think?

ME: Hey, hey, hey, hey, don’t you judge me. There is only one person who can judge me. Life is hard out here for a chocolate lover. And how do you know my business? Besides, I’m not the one who has been trying to steal the show from the real author of Easter for years. You and your comrades have reduced a very holy holiday into a commercial carnage of sugar crap and colored-boiled egg rolls. How many Americans even know what Easter is about anymore? And what the fuck did you do with your gold foil wrap? Your nakedness is freaking me out here!  I’m only five-feet tall, and even though you’re not anatomically correct, I don’t need to be looking at all that that isn’t supposed to be there on a damn chocolate bunny.

Easter Forgotten Peter Broelman Australia

Used by permission: Peter Broelman, Australia

E. BUNNY: I left my gold-foil wrap outside. I thought I’d be less imposing if I came through the door chocolate naked and ready for consumption.

ME: No, the fact that you’re a six-foot-tall chocolate bunny and talking to me is freaky—the gold foil means nothing. Now get out! I’ll not lose what little grip I have on my Lenten sacrifice and my sanity.

E. BUNNY: What do you care? It says here on my manifest that you are no longer a Christian; you’re a NONE (“none of the above” when asked “what religion are you?” on surveys), as well as a SBNR (“Spiritual but Not Religious”). Ain’t you a bit old to be losing your religion?

ME: Completely misrepresented. If you read my book Monsters’ Throwdown (have you read my book?) you’d know all about my thrilling God encounter. Where did you get that erroneous misinformation about me not being a Christian, by the way? I am a Christian BUT NOT ONE OF THOSE CHRISTIANS that are doing everything in their power to win the stupid medal, spew hatred, undergird white supremacy, sow division, worship greed as a divine right, spread ignorance, foster abuse, churn up intolerance, and snuff out belief in science. Did you read how a group of mega-church preachers have predicted the end of the world (Red Moon Rapture) during the appearances of the blood moons (scientists call this lunar eclipse a tetrad) this year or the next? Well, one blood-moon experience has passed, and we’re still here. (God, I despise stupid). At the same time, I believe in Jesus, his birth, sacrificial death, and powerful resurrection. Science is awesome (I’m really feeling the new Cosmos series, by the way), but the “knowing” by faith that I am loved by an entity who is outside of time and space levels the playing field for this little chubby-ass, black girl from the ghetto and makes me less frightened as to the nefarious choices of those who would choose to do me harm on this scary blue planet.

Gospel in a word is love funnypicturesimages dot com

Courtesy of funnypicturesimages.com

E. BUNNY: Cute—although I’m agnostic. Being edible, I have to keep my options open. Aren’t you a little old for clip art religion?

ME: Aren’t you a bit perverse to ask some strange woman to take a bite out of your ass? You’ve barged into my house and now you think you can throw shade on my beliefs? Okay, you’re goin’ down, you mouthy, fat-ass Bunny!

AT THIS POINT, THE SUGAR INTOXICATED FIVE-FOOT “NONE” BEGAN TO DO A THROWDOWN WITH THE SIX-FOOT NAKED CHOCOLATE BUNNY. JELLY BEANS WERE FLYING EVERY WHICH WAY BUT SUNDAY, AND BITS OF CHOCOLATE BUNNY WERE FLUNG TO THE CEILING. IT WAS ANYONE’S GUESS AS TO WHO THE VICTOR WOULD BE.

E. BUNNY: Stop, stop! I don’t want to fight over this. My request is strictly business, I promise. I won’t get my commission unless I become part of an Easter display. Problem is that I am much too big for an Easter basket, and everyone who I’ve come in contact with this week has given up chocolate for Lent. I’d given up all hope of winning the Easter challenge until my manager told me to stop by your house. He says you’re known throughout the land as being a chocolate-bunny slut. I’m begging you, just take a couple of chomps out of my ass to show that I am Easter worthy, and I’ll leave you be.

ME: [I bounced around the floor like Sugar Ray Leonard with fists raised in a defensive position—not letting down my guard for one minute.] Something about you is off, bunny, but I can’t put my finger on it. Everybody who is anybody knows that you don’t feast on a chocolate bunny from the ass up—it’s always from the ears down. And another thing, you’ve giving off the appearance of being a solid bunny, but methinks you sound a little bit hollow inside. For the sake of science, let me take a bite out of one OR BOTH of those ears. I’ll know instantly if you’re for real or a poser. [I flew through the air and flung myself against his body and snapped off both his chocolate bunny’s ears to discover what I suspected all along.]

Easter Over Commercialized Easter Jeff Parker Florida Today

Used by permission: Jeff Parker, Florida Today

E. BUNNY: Ouch! WTF! Why did you do that? Now I can’t hear a thing.

ME: Serves you right, nasty-ass bunny busting into my house when I’m all weak and vulnerable and offering up your tasty ass.   Um, even though you’re hollow, your ears are delicious and the left side of your face is scrumptious. I WANT MORE! [I took a flying leap and lunged upward toward the back of the chocolate bunny’s head.] Yum, yum, yum, yum, yum, yum, yum. You are delicious, bunny baby! Oh, but what about my Lenten oath? Let’s see—Lent ends on April 17th. Today is April 16th. I made it almost to the mark—that should count for something in the religion department. [At this point I lunged for the chocolate bunny’s throat with zombie teeth bared and chocolate blood gushing out of the sides of my mouth with the ferocity of a lioness feeding on an antelope.]

E. BUNNY: That’s called sin ration_________gurgle. . .

ME: What did you say, giant bunny—something about sin rationalization? [Chomp, chomp . . .] Well, good thing I get forgiveness of my sins through Christ, because I plan to eat all six feet of your chocolate ass now and ask forgiveness later! Ha—I bet you didn’t see that one comin’!

Easter Meme FB

I am discovering that I am grateful to have experienced the presence of God in my life. All that is good and lovely, I owe to the one I call Jesus; all that was harsh and degrading I owe to the lack of love from mankind.  I am also discovering that no matter how loud the right-wing religious or the extreme atheists shout about God vs. science—both are probably wrong because Easter is the elasticity between the two. Science explains how, what, and when life began for us all (thanks Brian McLaren), but God is outside of time and space and therefore cannot be measured or categorized (thanks Alan Lightman) by science—God explains the who and whythe meaning of life.  I could be wrong (that is the nature of faith), but the fact that God burst onto the scene to show us how to live and treat each other over 2,000 years ago (which we seem to be severely ignoring) simply underscores how significant his life and death are to all mankind. I believe that in the end love will triumph over all our differences, and all death has been conquered by the resurrection of Christ. Thank God for Easter.

Happy Easter to one and all!

P.S. No chocolate bunnies were actually harmed in this sugar dream and no Lenten vows were broken.

Easter Meanig Milt Priggee www dot cagle dot com FB

Used by permission: Milt Priggee http://www.cagle.com

“A man who was completely innocent, offered himself as a sacrifice for the good of others, including his enemies, and became the ransom of the world. It was a perfect act.”Mahatma Gandhi

“Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.”Albert Einstein

“Jesus’s resurrection is the beginning of God’s new project not to snatch people away from earth to heaven but to colonize earth with the life of heaven. That, after all, is what the Lord’s Prayer is about.” ― N.T. Wright, Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church

website

LOOKING FOR AN EXCELLENT READ? CHECK OUT MY WEBSITE: www.eleanortomczyk.com

REFERENCES

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/religion/blood-moon-sets-off-apocalyptic-debate-among-some-christians/2014/04/15/00b76502-c4be-11e3-9ee7-02c1e10a03f0_story.html

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/04/14/blood-moon-lunar-eclipse-john-hagee-end-of-world/7694331/

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

 
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Posted by on April 17, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Never Saw That One Comin’

Do you know what I’ve discovered about surprises? You never see them coming. (I know, I know—duh!)   I read somewhere that kindergarteners are one of the most delightful group of humans for a multitude of reasons (full of joie de vivre for one), but mainly, this is so due to how much life takes them by surprise, and their unmitigated joy (if they like the surprise), or their colossal meltdown if they don’t.

Surprise Bear

Surprised Bear | Courtesy of memebase.com

My grandson is 5 years old, and the other day after being dragged from one clothing store to another with his mother he was promised by said mother that if he’d be patient, she would take him to the giant toy store in Manhattan for a new toy. However, the clothes buying took longer than anticipated, and my daughter thought it would be more prudent to stop for a slice (what they call pizza in NYC) before proceeding to FAO Schwarz (you know, the home of the giant floor piano used in “Big” where Tom Hanks played “Chopsticks with his feet?”).

The world of a five-year-old doesn’t have much bandwidth, so when he was being pulled through the door of a pizza parlor instead of toy heaven, he vociferously began to complain. He wisely chose not to throw a full-blown, fall-on-the-floor, kicking and screaming tantrum, but tried the more subtle approach of firmly crossing his arms in defiance and protruding his lower lip into a pout that could win the Guinness World Record of protruding lips. His mother totally ignored him (as all good parents should at the moment of a five-year-old siege), but the waitress did not. Upon seeing my grandson’s very unhappy face, the waitress asked him what was wrong.

KINDERGARTEN TERRORIST: “SHE [when a mother gets on a five-year-old’s shit list, the person who gave him life suddenly becomes persona non-grata, and the mother turns into a “she” or “that woman”] PROMISED ME FAO SCHWARZ, AND NOW I’VE BEEN DRAGGED INTO THIS PLACE TO EAT PIZZA!”

FAO Schwarz Front5 Wikimedia Commons

FAO Schwarz | Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

SHE: [addresses her rebuttal to the waitress] “In whose world is eating pizza considered a punishment?”

CHARMING WAITRESS: “Well, I’ll tell you what, sweetie, if it will make you happy, I’ll fix your pizza anyway you want it, get it to you as quickly as possible, and get you out the door in no time so that you can get to FAO Schwarz as fast as your little legs can carry you.   So what would you like on your slice, darlin’?”

KINDERGARTEN TERRORIST: [The KT sighs, knowing that he better play along before “She” bypasses FAO Schwarz altogether and decides that a “time out” until Jesus returns would be a more appropriate choice after the pizza joint.]

“Okay, I want pepperoni [pout], cheese [pout], and more cheese, please. Can you cut it into little pieces for me [swallowing sob] and put some salt on it too [sucking back crocodile tears]?”

CHARMING WAITRESS: “Sure honey, whatever you want” [waitress looks back at my daughter as she goes to place the order and whispers:] “Don’t worry, Honey, I’m just humoring him so that he won’t have a meltdown—I won’t put any salt on his pizza.”

As the waitress walked away, my five-year-old grandson leaned across the table in complete wonderment and surprise at what had just transpired and whispered to his mother:

“Well, I never saw that one comin’!”

Surprise Gomer Pyle

Actor: Gomer Pyle | Surprise meme

I almost peed myself from laughter over the retelling of my grandson and the pizza parlor experience. It got me thinking about good surprises (big and small) that either inform our intelligence (shake us out of our ignorance) or make our lives more palatable so that we can survive to get to FAO Schwarz (heaven). It made me wonder if in any given life there are more “bad” surprises than there are “good.” I’m sure it must be so in Third World countries, but can it be so in the Home of the Brave and the Land of the Free?  I’ve written about my own life that was full of Lemony Snicket Unfortunate Events in Monsters’ Throwdown, but I still think growing up in America has given me a leg up because of its provision of wonderful surprises. So I’m trying to spend my latter days anticipating the “good” surprises and relishing in the joy they bring—no matter how small.

For instance, I once worked for an asshole who was a bigot, mean-spirited, and a braggart (“If there are 10 people in the room with me, I am always the smartest, and so whatever you have to say as a black woman and a lowly secretary will never match my intellect.”). He was from Mississippi and couldn’t stomach any feedback from me except, “Yes, Massah—whatever you say Massah.” Boss-man tried to get me fired because I refused to empty his waste basket of week-old rotting garbage from his daily lunches (he had pissed off the African-American and Hispanic janitorial staff so badly that they refused to clean his office). I desperately needed that job and couldn’t quit because mine was the only income supporting our household at the time. The jerk of a boss underestimated my intelligence and the fact that I’m also a praying woman, ‘cause I prayed every day that God would fry his ass (I’m still working on the “love thy enemy” thing). As karma would have it, within nine months from the day he started treating me like shit, the dude was fired from his job in disgrace, was sued for divorce, lost his home, and for the next decade or so failed to keep a job longer than a year. I, on the other hand, got handed a job working for the asshole’s boss three levels above him and ended up working for the company for years while making a hefty salary utilizing my intelligence and skillset.   All I could say at the end of that tenure was:

“Well, I never saw that one comin’!”

Surprise orum dot ladypopular dot com

Courtesy of forum.ladypopular.com

Another lovely surprise in my life happened from a completely random choice. Years ago, my husband and I stopped by a gorgeous little B and B to spend the night because it was halfway between point A and point B on our way home from a long trip. At breakfast we ended up chatting with a delightful interracial couple sitting at the next table. Although we never exchanged last names, I realized almost immediately that the woman was Anita Hill (the African-American law professor who testified against the Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas regarding sexual harassment when she worked with him at the EEOC). During that awful hearing, the Right Wing threw everything but the kitchen sink at Ms. Hill, the male Democrats hung her out to dry, and I cheered her demise because I was a Christian conservative at the time.  I joined prayer groups that “beseeched God” to make the way clear for Clarence Thomas to be appointed a justice on the Supreme Court because he was God’s man, and she was Satan’s little helper.  Clearly, I had drunk the Kool-Aid.

Today every time Thomas votes against the good of our country and its people, I hang my head in shame, and I repent for being such an idiot. But the day I accidentally met Anita Hill (I never let on that I knew who she was, and we never talked about the hearing), that meeting left no doubt in my mind that she was innocent.

A documentary has just been released (Anita) that clarifies the truth about that riveting historical moment. The world has since learned through several books (one written by two journalists who had no skin in the game) that there were other women waiting to testify against Clarence Thomas who had experienced the same treatment from him as Anita Hill, but they weren’t given a chance to speak. There were people waiting to verify that Ms. Hill had complained to them about Thomas’ harassment when it happened, but they were never called before the committee because the Republicans turned it into a character assassination of Anita Hill (“they didn’t want to hear the truththey just wanted to win,” Ms. Hill has said). After the hearing was over, a rabid Republican core group tried to get Ms. Hill fired but failed (she had tenure), tried to get the Dean of her school fired, and some even tried to shut down the law school where she worked. But never mind, as so often happens when nasty surprises slime us, the attacks turned Anita Hill into an ardent champion of women’s rights and the poster child of sexual harassment in the workplace. Thousands of women came out of hiding to tell their long-suffering stories of sexual harassment because of the courage a soft-spoken, humble woman demonstrated by the way she stood up to her haters.

Anita Hill has become a hero to me and millions of women. And guess what?

“Well, I never saw that one comin’!”

Anita Hill Apology Sack Star Tribune

Used by Permission: Steve Sack, The Minneapolis Star Tribune

I am discovering that life is very, very difficult, but every once in a while, a good surprise comes along to give us hope and faith in a future that would otherwise cut us off at the knees and leave us completely undone. When that happens, all we can do is express our thanksgiving with gratitude to God and chant the declaration of one precious five-year-old:

“Well, I never saw that one comin’!”

Surprise Dog and Duck

“Life is full of surprises.”John Major

“Sometimes it is better to begin the journey, to get under way, then it is to sit back and wait until such time that you’re convinced that all conditions are perfect and that there’ll be no surprises along the route.”John Engler

Would you like to know your future?

If your answer is yes, think again. Not knowing is the greatest life motivator.

So enjoy, endure, survive each moment as it comes to you in its proper sequence—a surprise.”Vera Nazarian, The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration

ENJOYED THIS POST? CHECK OUT MY WEBSITE: www.eleanortomczyk.com

REFERENCES

http://thegrio.com/2014/03/27/anita-hill-talks-feminism-sexual-harassment-and-clarence-thomas/

http://www.latimes.com/local/abcarian/la-me-ra-clarence-thomas-vs-anita-hill-a-new-film-opens-old-wounds-20140312,0,6988082.story#axzz2xrhVGSAo

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 
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Posted by on April 4, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost

Do you know what I discovered about my life this week? I am one unlucky sorry-ass woman. I just barely got over a sinus infection, and the minute my husband stepped out the door to go on a business trip, I got an intestinal flu bug, and it kicked my behind from one end of my house to the other. I have chills, I ache all over, my stomach cramps at the slightest smell of food, I can’t stray more than two feet from a bathroom, and I’m spewing out of both ends.  I am truly undone.

Flu Bug Dolighan dot com

Cartoon by Tim Dolighan www.dolighan.com

I was writhing on the couch moaning in three octaves: “WHY ME, OH LORD; WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?” when the phone rang and it turned out to be my youngest daughter (29).

BABY-GIRL: Hi Mom. How’s my favorite mother? I noticed that you hadn’t published your blog this week so I am checking up on you.

MISERABLE ME: Your only mother is ready to send up a shout-out to Jesus and let him know I’m ready to exit stage left—that’s how miserable I feel. I had to send a neighbor to get me stopper-upper meds, and I’m so weak I can barely cook for myself—let alone think of a blog topic. Of all the adages I’ve given you over the years under the title, “A Mother’s Parting Wisdom to Her Children,” did I ever tell you that when you have the flu you should never, ever trust a fart? Maybe I could write a blog on that tomorrow.

BABY-GIRL:   No, you have never told me that saying—and I don’t want to hear it now. And NO, you cannot write a blog on “never trust a fart.” You’ve written way too many posts on bodily functions or sex. Need I remind you that my colleagues read your blog, and it is mortifying when I get an email that says they’re reading about you farting in your doctor’s face after a colonoscopy while they’re drinking their morning coffee?

MISERABLE ME: Hey now—that was written in the spirit of public service. I’ve gotten a lot of requests to have that post sent to people who are undergoing a colonoscopy for the first time so that it doesn’t frighten them. Sheesh! Everybody’s a critic.

Flu Season Olle Johansson Sweden

Used by Permission: “Flu Season” by Olle Johansson, Sweden

BABY-GIRL: I don’t care, Mother; think of something else north of your navel. I’ve been reading some poetry lately. How about a post centered on the CLEAN poetic line: Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost. It’s from J.R.R. Tolkien’s, The Fellowship of the Ring:

All that is gold does not glitter,

Not all those who wander are lost;

The old that is strong does not wither,

Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,

A light from the shadows shall spring;

Renewed shall be blade that was broken,

The crownless again shall be king.

BABY-GIRL: Does that line conjure up anything inspiring that you can write about even with the flu?

MISERABLE ME: Yeah, now that you mention it. I facilitated a storytelling hour and book signing for my book Monsters’ Throwdown last week at the largest women’s homeless shelter in D.C. It was packed—standing room only. Now that I think about it, the women who attended were amazing. Life had dealt them all a tough blow, but I could see in most of their eyes that they were not down for the count. They were broken, but they had the great hope of being renewed because of the helping hand that had been extended to them—they were wanderers, but they weren’t completely lost. That’s why they keep showing up at the Village for the counseling, the educational classes, and the community support.

BABY-GIRL: I read somewhere recently that President Reagan once said that, “The homeless are homeless because they want to be homeless.” Did you sense that at your storytelling hour?

Homeless in America

Photo courtesy of www.csindy.com

MISERABLE ME: Ronald Reagan was a insensitive pig! Much to my chagrin, I voted for him and I will never forgive myself for that because he did more to mushroom homelessness in the inner city than any other force in recent years with his goddamn trickle-down economics that made the rich richer and the poor only poorer. If there is a Hell, Reagan is wandering around it on cold, barren streets as a homeless person for at least a quarter of eternity without a blanket and with constant diarrhea.

BABY-GIRL: Now that’s an interesting topic. What did you learn from these “wandering women”?

N Street Village 007

Author Book Signing for Monsters’ Throwdown at N Street Village’s homeless outreach

MISERABLE ME: I learned that but by the grace of God go I. I was homeless several times in my life before the age of 21, but it never lasted long. I was rescued which is what my book is about. Someone discovered that I was broken and could be renewed. I learned that many of the homeless have jobs (more than one) that they go to, but they still can’t afford housing. I learned that you can come from the best of families, with the best education, and all it takes is a few missteps and before you know it, you’re out on the street—whether from a bad relationship, an abusive husband, a medical issue, or a layoff. I learned that in Washington, DC, 55% of the homeless women that N Street Village services (they are the largest women’s homeless services in DC), are over 50 years old. I met one woman who was an amputee due to diabetes, and yet she is homeless. The homeless women I met suffer from emotional, sexual, and physical trauma, while some are crippled by mental health issues and addictive behaviors. All I could do was cling to them after all was said and done. As I looked into their eyes, I could see the beauty of who they were created to be. I understood what Jesus meant when he said: “What you do for the least of these, you do for me.” If I do a thousand more book signings, I doubt that any of them will be as rewarding or as profound as the one at the women’s homeless shelter.

BABY-GIRL: I’m so proud of you, Mom. I’m sure the ladies loved your time together. Just imagine yourself in their place with what you’ve been going through the last few days—flu symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea, cramps, and chills BUT going through that while sleeping on the street in the snow with no proper meds or sanitation. Makes your situation pretty tolerable, huh, La Mama?

MISERABLE ME: Yes, Ms. Smart-ass, it does! Anyway, I’ll write that post tomorrow. In the meantime, let me snuggle up in front of the fireplace and sip my hot toddy while I read 50 Shades of Grey. Your father and I could use some tips to spice up our sex life, although I hear this book is about bondage with handcuffs and all. I’m afraid if Dad and I try this handcuff thingie, I’ll fall asleep before anything exciting can actually happen.

BABY-GIRL: TMI! HANGING UP! HANNNNNNGING UP! OH, MY GOD—MY EARS, MY PSYCHE . . .

Homeless Neighbor

I am discovering that it is so easy to get caught up in my pathetic little life and forget that homelessness is everywhere and ever-expanding due to issues that we can primarily control as a society. It is also so easy to become comfortable and forget from whence I came. All of us who claim to have a heart and especially those of us who claim to believe in a kind and generous God must do everything in our power to eradicate homelessness in our midst. Ronald Reagan was just plain wrong, and that Ayn Rand spirit he left behind permeates our politics and our national psyche. Being homeless could happen to any of us. But by the grace of God go us all!

N Street Village 010

Author Storytelling Hour at N Street Village/check out Author’s website for more details

“We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty.”—Mother Teresa

“There is a lot that happens around the world we cannot control. We cannot stop earthquakes, we cannot prevent droughts, and we cannot prevent all conflict, but when we know where the hungry, the homeless and the sick exist, then we can help.”—Jan Schakowsky

“Seven out of 10 Americans are one paycheck away from being homeless.”—Pras Michel

“All of us who covered the Reagans agreed that President Reagan was personable and charming, but I’m not so certain he was nice. It’s hard for me to think of anyone as ‘nice’ when I hear him say ‘The homeless are homeless because they want to be homeless.”—Helen Thomas

REFERNCES

http://www.nstreetvillage.org/

http://thegrio.com/2014/03/24/americas-most-under-reported-story-homelessness/

http://www.cnn.com/interactive/2014/03/living/cnn10-visionary-women/?hpt=hp_bn11

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/25/housing-first-homeless-charlotte_n_5022628.html 

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

 

 
18 Comments

Posted by on March 25, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Nature’s Mom

Do you know what I’ve discovered this week?  I am at war with a woman who has really set my teeth on edge.  She is older than I am and has absolutely no respect for me.  The heifer is constantly all up in my grill with her attitude and unpredictability.   She throws shade at me every chance she can get and disregards my needs, my wants, and my desires.

Today was 70 degrees outside and yesterday wasn’t half bad either.   DC has had two days of spring-like weather after a hellish winter, and all is right with my world.  As I ran errands without a coat, I spontaneously broke into a dance in front of the grocery story as I sang Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” song at the top of my lungs:

“It might seem crazy what I’m about to say,

Sunshine she’s here, you can take a break…

Because I’m happy…”

Warm Pic 1 funnypicturesutopia dot com

Meme courtesy of www.funnypicturesutopia.com

But when I returned home, “Nature’s Mom” (a.k.a. Mother Nature) had  left me a calling card:  the Capital Weather Gang’s report in The Washington Post about the demon weather that is coming my way within the next 16 hours or so—courtesy of this chick who claims to be “nature.”

“Roller coaster Wednesday: Temps to spike then crash, with storms and howling winds . . .”

 “Temperatures plummeting from roughly 70 to 25 degrees in 6 hours in Washington area . . .”

I went out into my backyard and screamed at the heavens:

NATURE’S MOM—SPRING IS ON ITS WAY!  BUDS ARE ON THE TREES IN MY YARD . . . CROCUS (CROCUSES, CROCUSI?) ARE PUSHING THROUGH THE SOIL AT MY FEET.  MY DAFFODILS ARE POKING THEIR LITTLE HEADS UP AND WAVING AT ME.  A BUNNY JUST HOPPED BY.  THE VERNAL EQUINOX STARTS ON MARCH 20TH AT 12:57 P.M. EDT WHICH MEANS SPRING WILL HAVE OFFICIALLY SPRUNG!  WHAT MORE EVIDENCE DO YOU NEED TO CEASE AND DESIST?

Spring Expectations www dot slapcaption dot com

Meme courtesy of www.slapcaption.com

NATURE’S MOM:  Climate change.

ME: Say what?  Who just said that?  Show yourself?

NATURE’S MOM:  Oh, I’ll show myself Wednesday night—don’t you worry about that, Chica.  Right now you’ll just have to put up with my voice in your head. Climate change is driving my agenda.

ME: I don’t even know what climate change is.  I’m just trying to get my mental health to survive here.  Causing these extreme temperatures and horrid wind patterns are a personal issue between you and me, bitch.  I just got over a bad sinus infection; I’ve been stuck in the house for weeks—I need sunshine and warmth—not a lecture!

NATURE’S MOM:  Well, you should know what climate change is—it is your responsibility to know, and it is why I’m out of control all over the Earth—I’m trying to get you and your peeps to WAKE UP!  According to your own EPA site, climate change refers to:

“. . . any significant change in the measures of climate lasting for an extended period of time. In other words, climate change includes major changes in temperature, precipitation, or wind patterns, among other effects, that occur over several decades or longer.”

mother nature al gore

Cartoonist:  Mike Luckovich, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

ME:  Listen, Heifer, this is personal! I have had to escape your clutches ever since I was born.  I wrote about some of your mayhem in my new book Monsters’ Throwdown.  Have you read it?

NATURE’S MOM: Oh please, surely you jest . . .

ME:  Don’t call me Shirley—my name is Eleanor (hee, hee, hee)!

NATURE’S MOM:  What are you, 13?

ME:  WHAT EVER! I’m trying to draw your attention to the times you almost killed me because of your excesses.  I am only concerned about me and the fact that I’m fucking sick of winter—I WANT SPRING TO SPRING!  Do you remember when I was two years old, my hometown of Cleveland was hit with 30 inches of snow from you, and I was stuck in a rat-trap of a house for weeks on end with a schizophrenic mother and barely any food?

NATURE’S MOM:  You remember that?  I thought you were just two years old then. Have you been lying about your age?

Mother Nature memecrunch dot com

ME:  No, others told me about it.  But that’s not the point.  In 1959, you caused so much rain to fall on top of mountains of snow that most of Ohio was flooded.   I had to be rescued from my school via a second floor window into a row-boat.  Do you wonder that I’m afraid of water in my old age?   Oh and here’s a good one:  remember that freak snowstorm you sent to upstate New York in late April during the 70s (late freakin’ April, no less!) that dropped several feet of snow on the region?  WW and I were coming back from his sister’s wedding, and we went into a tailspin in the middle of the night and almost careened off the edge of a cliff.  What is it with you that you can’t stay within your natural boundaries?  You almost cost me my future. Repeat after me:  winter is from December to February—spring is from March to May, summer is . . .

NATURE’S MOM: Are you getting cheeky with me?  Because I still have Wednesday night up my sleeve.  When’s the last time you experienced lightning in winter aimed directly at your house?  Remember the storm a few years ago that knocked out your electricity for two weeks, and the power surge that fried your microwave, your ceiling fan, and your computer?  Well, I can do that again.  Instead of throwing a hissy-fit over the delayed advent of spring, why don’t you tell me your plan as an individual to help fight global warming?

ME:  Uh, did I hear that House of Cards is back on and ready for binge watching? Gotta go!  Let’s do lunch when you usher in summer (80 degrees, calm breeze, sunshine galore, and gin and tonics on the deck).  Cheers!

America Reacts Horsey Cartoon

Cartoonist:  David Horsey, LA Times

I am discovering that I can’t mess with Mother Nature—I just have to get out of her way and grab some extra blankets to stay warm while I grumble.  I also must confess that other than recycling, eating less meat (I loves me some steak, so that’s not going very well), and using energy-saving appliances, I’m pretty clueless as to how to really be effective when it comes to course-correcting our planet’s environmental illness.  As a Christian, I believe the scientists that detrimental climate change is happening—which is a start—but I must confess the magnitude of the subject overwhelms me because it requires governments (from the USA to China), industries, and individuals to modify their behavior in major ways, and it makes me inert.

***

“That’s the thing about Mother Nature, she really doesn’t care what economic bracket you’re in.”—Whoopi Goldberg

“As human beings, we are vulnerable to confusing the unprecedented with the improbable. In our everyday experience, if something has never happened before, we are generally safe in assuming it is not going to happen in the future, but the exceptions can kill you and climate change is one of those exceptions.”—Al Gore

“I don’t think we’re yet evolved to the point where we’re clever enough to handle as complex a situation as climate change. The inertia of humans is so huge that you can’t really do anything meaningful.”—James Lovelock

PLEASE CHECK OUT MY NEW WEBSITE:  www.eleanortomczyk.com

Spring is coming End keepcal dash o dash matic dot co dot uk

REFERENCES

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/wp/2014/03/11/shock-drop-temperature-may-fall-from-70-to-35-wednesday-evening/?hpid=z3

http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/basics/

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 
8 Comments

Posted by on March 12, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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You Had ONE Job!

Do you know what I discovered about March this year?  It had one job—albeit, a multilayered job description—and it has summarily blown it!  March 1st was supposed to massage us out of freezing temperatures, making way for daylight savings time in two weeks, and opening the doors to the meteorological beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere, if Wikipedia is to be trusted.  But right now 106 million people from coast to coast are awash in another arctic air blast which is pushing eastward.  In my hometown, I am currently bracing for a “tenth of an inch of ice, topped by 8 to 12 inches of snow,” if The Washington Post is to be believed.  Auuuugh!

Cold Weather No End John Cole The Scranton Times Tribune

Used by permission:  John Cole, The Scranton Times-Tribune

I’m so freakin’ tired of this weather.  I finally got rid of the sinus infection from Hell, but then my “crap” (my house and the shit in it) started auditioning for the “You Had One Job” reality TV show that I didn’t even know existed until last week.  I’m so pissed that I wrote a letter to Al Roker (a.k.a. Albert Lincoln “Al” Roker, Jr, weatherman extraordinaire for NBC Morning News).

Dear Mr. Roker:

Oh, meteorology legend among meteorologists.

Let’s not beat around the bush here because I’ve got no time to waste before I get slammed by the lion of March and my electricity goes off.  I need you to grab your friend March by the balls and bring him into submission because he is not doing his job.  March only has one job (as far as I’m concerned) and that is to usher in spring.  Not only is March causing me a lot of sickness and chaos, but my house and its shit have been inspired by its mayhem and gone into total rebellion against me.

I woke up the other night to a floor flooded by a dishwasher that is barely a year old (this dishwasher is a replacement for the previous one that leaked and flooded my house in March 2013).  I called the appliance hotline of which I have a five-year-extended-warranty and an operator answered the phone.  She sounded like she couldn’t have been more than sixteen years old.  Al, she had one job and only one job to do:  send me a qualified repairman who could properly diagnose my problem and set me free from malfunction hell. 

March One Job quoteko dot com

TWIT:    Hello!  This call may be monitored for quality control and/or training purposes.  How can I help you today? But before you answer that, may I have your name, appliance serial and model number, your address, the cross streets where your house is located, the name of the owner of the appliance, the name of the store where you purchased the appliance; if you have a warranty, what type of appliance is it, and what needs fixin’ today?  Also, please note that your warranty covers some things but not others. It does not cover improper use (such as for a business) or abusive use by owners.

ME:        Lady, my dishwasher just flooded my kitchen because the top rack may have come off its track and bumped up against the door.  Something is broken on the rack.  I need a new top rack.  Please send a qualified repairman ASAP!

TWIT:    I see. Looks like I need to order you the rack-pack hooks and gadgets for you to adjust your top rack again and fix it yourself.  Okeydokey?  Hold on.

ME:        Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!  I’m not a dishwasher repairman, but I am holding pieces of the top rack in my hand while standing in ankle deep water which says to me that this might need some teensy-weensy help from a repairman who knows something about dishwashers.   I paid a warranty in the hundreds of dollars for you people to do your job when the time came. YOU’VE GOT ONE JOB—TO REPAIR SHIT!  Don’t send me a kit to do-it-myself—send me a repairman.

TWIT:    One moment Ma’am—I can see why not having a dishwasher could be upsetting.  Please wait a minute while I put you on hold.

ME:        Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!  Goddamnit . . . You’ve only got one job—just do it!

Winter Escape Steve Sack The Minneapolis Star Tribune

Used by permission: The Minneapolis Star-Tribune

Anyway, Al Roker, I finally got the Twit to send me a repairman, but he arrived without a kit, and the following conversation ensued between said dishwasher repairman (DR) and me:

DR:         Ladee, I check ju dishwasher—nothin’ wrong wit it.   It maybe “user arrow.”  Most customa problem is dat.  Do ju know how to close door in right way? 

ME:        Do I look 16?  I’m old . . . I know how to use a dishwasher.  No, I did not accidentally leave the door open.

DR:         How ‘bout ju cuttin’ board—ju make mistake of placin’ it too close to door?  Company say dat if  customa break machine wit cuttin’ board—no warranty coverage for yu.  You pay everything from pocket! 

ME:        I have not now, nor have I ever broken an appliance.  Do you see the 50 pieces of plastic at the bottom of the dishwasher that look like an atom bomb went off inside?  Don’t you think that might have something to do with the flooding problem?

DR:         Noooo, dat jes garbage.  Do ju know to rinse plates befo’ loadin’?  Jes?  Okay, but I tell ju what.  I’ll change rubba lina to help ju out.  Maybe dat help—maybe dat won’t.  What you gonna do dees days?  Now sign computa pad wit ju finger dat rate my service (please choose “excellent” so I get company prize) and dat I answa all ju questions to satisfaction.

Mr. Roker, the dude had one job (like your friend March), and that was to fix my fucking dishwasher on the warranty that I’d already paid for.  Turns out that when another repairman from another company analyzed the situation, there were a multitude of parts that had melted off the top drawer of the dishwasher due to no fault of “user arrow,” and the drawer was knocking against the door causing the water to seep out all over the floor.  It took the repairman 45 minutes to repair the top rack with the “parts kit” that the customer service twit wanted to send me for a do-it-yourself project.   He determined that the liner never needed to be replaced as the first repairman suggested.

And I haven’t even told you about the printer dying, the garage door not opening, and the battery going on the car since I’ve been stuck in the house from this horrendous weather and sickness. 

On another subject entirely, Al, can I ask you a question?  While I have your attention (hope you don’t mind the self-promotion), did you know that I wrote a newly released book:  Monsters’ Throwdown (available on Amazon), and I just launched a website that might amuse and inspire you at www.eleanortomczyk.com?  Think you could give me a shout-out when you do the weather tomorrow?

Anyway, I look forward to your reply about the handling of your friend March.  I can’t take anymore incompetence.  I’m way too old for this shit.

Sincerely Yours!

Fed Up with winter—ET

Winter save Non Sequitur

Non Sequitur, Cartoonist: Wiley Miller

I am discovering that even as I type this post it has started to rain and the rain is turning to ice in my area.  My husband (WW) has stocked the house with food and alcohol and placed the candles and hurricane lamps all over the house.  We’ve planned an Oscar party for two, but I hear that the Oscars may be inundated with rain.  WW is sure his company will be closed tomorrow due to the snow and ice.

I got a text from Al Roker in response to my email.  It said:  “Grow a pair, Chica.  Rain helping end drought in CA.  Ukraine under attack by Putin.  Jim Crow anti-Gay legislation barely vetoed in Arizona but still being pushed in 5 other states.  Black Christians with a heart of love needed to stand with our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters against discrimination because we remember the signs not too long ago that said, “No Jews, No Niggers, No Dogs served here.”  More important things to worry about than a few feet of snow!”

Winter blow FB

“It makes no sense to worry about things you have no control over because there’s nothing you can do about them, and why worry about things you do control? The activity of worrying keeps you immobilized.”—Wayne Dyer

“Winter is nature’s way of saying, ‘Up yours.’”—Robert Byrne

 “A lot of people like snow. I find it to be an unnecessary freezing of water.”― Carl Reiner

REFERENCES

http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/02/us/us-severe-weather/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 
16 Comments

Posted by on March 2, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Change of Heart

Do you know what I’ve discovered this week about winter?  Besides the fact that I hate winter, I really think that when that damn groundhog (Punxsutawney Phil) sees his shadow and proclaims six more weeks of winter, my body actually goes down for the count in February with a debilitating respiratory sickness that kicks my ass up one side of the ice rink and down the other.   To say that I currently have a cold that is trying to take me out is an understatement, and I have only one entity to blame:  Punxsutawney Phil.

symptoms of cold cheezburger dot com

Image from www.cheeseburger.com

The snotty tissues spill out of my robe pockets and over the tops of dozens of wastebaskets in my house forming competitive mounds to compare with the frozen snow hills that landscape my front yard and deck.  I am mainlining giant pots of homemade chicken soup, chugging galloons of “ET’s Magic Snot-Extractor Potion” (rum, green tea, lemon, ginger, garlic juice, pomegranate extract), and Nyquil (Day and Night). Still there is no healing in sight—just projectile snot-farts coming out of every orifice of my body 24/7 at the speed of a paint ball trajectory that is sure to bring down the recipient with the power of the bubonic plague.

In the midst of all this devilish mucus extraction, I still had deadlines to finish for my book’s publicity (Monsters’ Throwdown).  But as I was putting on the final touches to my new website that went live in the midst of all this bacterial hell, I fell into a feverous, drugged sleep and had the most curious of dreams about Punxsutawney Phil (PP), my husband (WW), and me.

website

  Eleanor’s New Website/full of surprises and treats/check it out when you get a chance:  www.eleanortomczyk.com

In my dream, I awoke and furtively looked around a strange room to determine where I was.   It seems I was in the hospital wired up to a heart-monitoring machine and an IV drip while my body was strapped down to a bed with large leather belts.  As I tried to wrestle myself loose, my husband came to my side and tried to calm me in my agitated state.

WW:     So you’re awake, Honey.  How are you feeling?  You’ve had a rough night of it.

ME:        Really?  I don’t remember a thing.  I don’t even remember coming to the hospital.  Why am I strapped down like a mental patient?

WW:     You face planted into a bowl of chicken soup and knocked yourself out.  Doctor said it was caused by an abuse of too much Nyquil combined with your secret mucus extractor recipe.  As to the insanity straps, you kept trying to get out of bed to go buy a gun because of some perceived threat from Punxsutawney Phil.

ME:        Ooooo. . .I remember.  It’s all coming back to me now.  I was being threatened by that asshole rodent.  He’s the reason I keep getting these colds every February, and I’m unable to shake them until the spring.  I need to put a stop to this threat and stand my ground against this rodent, right here—right now.  A gun will give me the courage I need to get the job done as soon as I can get out of here.  Word on the street is that Punxsutawney Phil has gone to Florida.  Even he is tired of this Polar Vortex.

WW:     What do you mean “threatened by”?  What has he ever done to you?  You emphasize the word “rodent” as if he were some sub-species not created and loved by God.  Besides, Punxsy’s human handlers are the ones who actually make the predictions, and I’ve read that they are wrong 60% of the time, yet you get this respiratory infection every February, like clockwork.  Punxsutawney Phil’s prediction doesn’t have anything to do with you getting sick—he just goes along for the ride.

ME:        OH, PLEEEASE!  He’s a rodent—a thug—isn’t he, and once a rodent, always a rodent!  I think he’ll never change and he is a threat to my well-being.  You know how those creatures are.  I contacted Punxsy once to share my complaint, and he gave me all sorts of lip (“It’s not my fault—my handlers made me do it,” “I’m suffering from the same frigid temps as you,” “Cut a brother some slack”, and “Who the fuck do you think you are messing in my life, bitch; I don’t need this shit!”).  Punxsutawney Phil says he’s sick of winter too, but he’s not God so why am I always fuckin’ with him about the weather forecast.  As if I believe him.  And why didn’t he show me the respect I’m due as a human?  Huh?  If I want spring to come early—then early it should come.  No excuses.   I shouldn’t be sassed at by a rodent—a thug.  I want a gun, I want it now, and I’ll show that woodchuck-chuck who is boss.

Ground Hog II John Darkow, Columbia Daily Tribune Missouri

Used by permission:  John Darkow, Columbia Daily-Tribune, Missouri

WW:     Then you’re not getting out of these straps until you have a change of heart.  You may be crazy, but I’m not.   Anyway, don’t you know that Punxsy is not the only winter/spring groundhog forecaster?  You’ve got your Ohio’s “Buckeye Chuck” (you should know that since you’re from Cleveland), your West Virginia’s “French Creek Freddie,” your New York Staten Island’s “Chuck” (full name is Charles G. Hogg), your Georgia’s “Gen. Beauregard Lee,” your North Carolina’s “Sir Wally Wally,” and your Alabama’s “Smith Lake Jake.”  What you gonna do—shoot them all just because they don’t do what you want them to do when you want them to do it?  And what if they take up guns out of fear to protect themselves from the likes of you?  Good grief—I think your snot elixir has eroded different parts of your brain and heart, and you’re getting ready to do something that isn’t rational.  Now listen to me.  Most of the ground hogs are good varmints and want what we all want:  shelter, food, gainful employment, and good education for their children.  They have a few bad apples but so does every mammal group.  But for the most part they make up your woodchucks, your delightful whistle-pigs, your land-beavers. . .

ME:        Oh for God’s sake.  Save me from this commie, liberal, rodent-loving shit.  Just get me a gun, WW!

WW:     Nurse!!!  My wife has gone over the edge and needs to be prepped for heart surgery!  She is a danger to herself and all mammals!  I authorize the surgery at once!

Ground Hog RJ Matson,

Used by permission:  RJ Matson, Cagle Cartoons

I am discovering that this story about a “marmot monax” told in jest is symbolic of how we Americans don’t need more gun control laws as much as we need a change of heart.  I have no problem with people being able to defend themselves and their loved ones in their homes, but we’re becoming a nation that feels we have the right to “stand our ground” when others don’t do what we want, how we want it, and when we want it—basically we have the right to shoot and kill if another citizen simply pisses us off:

Neighborhood Watch man murders innocent teen carrying Skittles and Tea

Retired Tampa police captain shoots and kills father texting his babysitter before start of movie.

Businessman shoots and kills teen outside convenience store because music was not to his liking.

How long will it take before our country is one giant cemetery from coast to coast because we no longer promote the grace of “standing our ground” by moving our seat, walking away, or turning the other cheek?   Isn’t that better than standing before our Final Judge with innocent blood on our hands and realizing that we really blew it regarding “loving our neighbors as ourselves”?  God have mercy because none of us is safe from the hardened hearts and sick mentalities of a delusional percentage of our countrymen.  Absolutely none!

Michael Dunn Racist Murderer Bill Day Cagle Cartoons

Used by permission:  Bill Day, Cagle Cartoons

 “Our love affair with guns has nothing to do with tyranny, or militias, or self-preservation. Just ask any NRA member the following: If Jesus Christ himself were to come down off the cross and grant you one wish, would you opt for a world without guns — or the one we live in now? If every gun owner truly feared for their life and liberty, the answer would be obvious. But it’s not about life and liberty. It’s all about the sheer hard-on of owning a gun.” ― Quentin R. Bufogle

“How many have to die before we will give up these dangerous toys?” ― Stephen King, Guns

 Guns Bill Day Cagle Cartoons

Used by permission:  Bill Day, Cagle Cartoons

REFERENCES

http://www.usatoday.com/story/weather/2014/02/02/groundhog-day-punxsutawney-phil/5101379/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/19/jordan-davis-parents-good-morning-america_n_4814567.html

http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/07/justice/florida-movie-theater-shooting/

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2014/02/19/the-daily-show-segment-on-jordan-davis-rings-devastatingly-true/?hpid=z6

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/eugene-robinson-im-black-dont-shoot-me/2014/02/20/3899521e-9a61-11e3-b931-0204122c514b_story.html?hpid=z5

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 
9 Comments

Posted by on February 21, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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“Ain’t Nothin’ Like the Real Thing, Baby . . . .”

Do you know what I’ve discovered about this Valentine’s Day?  I got struck by Cupid’s arrow some 41 years ago and it was true love—go figure!   I am black, and he is white.  We met 7 years after the Supreme Court struck down the miscegenation laws across America via Loving vs Virginia.  We married 12 years after interracial marriage became legal in the United States.  (But even though the anti-miscegenation laws took effect in 1967, it took South Carolina until 1998 and Alabama until 2000 to get their acts together—and they did it by a mere 62% (SC) and 59% (AL) of the voters.)  Oh well, good thing WW (white and wonderful) and I went on about the business of building our lives and being outrageously happy without waiting for the naysayers and the racists to give us permission to love.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

WW and The Blogger loving life together when they were young

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

WW and our babes (mutual admiration society)

WW and I owe a great deal of gratitude to Mildred and Richard Loving.  God knew what he was doing when he allowed the burden of overturning the miscegenation laws in America to be placed upon their backs.  They were simple country people who had grown up together and fallen in love.  They weren’t interested in brandishing a cause—they just loved each other.   When they married in DC where interracial unions were legal, they came back to their home in Virginia to start their lives together.  I have often tried to imagine what it was like when the white sheriff and his two deputies broke into the Loving’s home in the middle of the night while they were sleeping and dragged them out of their bed and put them in separate jail cells—tormenting Mrs. Loving with the threat of rape from other prisoners.  They pled guilty to “breaking the law” and were sentenced to one year in jail, but it was suspended for 25 years if they agreed to leave Virginia and never return together— leaving behind their home, their land, their parents, their friends, and their relatives.

Richard and Mildred Loving

Mildred and Richard Loving courtesy of http://www.laprogressive.com/prop-8-jim-crow-nuremberg-and-other-unjust-laws/

The trial judge of Virginia (Judge Leon Bazile) issued the following statement when asked to reconsider his judgment against the Lovings:

“Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, Malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And, but for the interference with his arrangement, there would be no cause for such marriage. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.”

When I read Judge Bazile’s statement, I wondered what type of marriage he had.  Was he happy?  Did he touch the soul of his wife like a deer panting after running rivers when it is with thirst?  Because, you see, WW and I have experienced that type of deep, deep love.  When I see the signs of the racists who equated the mixing of the races to communism or heralding the Anti-Christ’s reign of terror down on our country, it causes me to ponder how many of these men beat their wives, or how many of these people divorced each other, or even how many lived in cold silence as they forced themselves to simply co-exist until the end of their days?  How many of them listen for the garage door to open and feel a rush of excitement that their man or their woman has come home to them at the end of another day after 34 years?  How many of them go to dinner and never utter one word of conversation to each other because they have nothing in common?  Because you see, WW and I can’t shut up from sharing what we’ve experienced while we’ve been apart because we’re each other’s best friend and best listener.  We love many of the same things, and what we don’t love, we pretend that we do.  I wonder if the people in the picture below got marriage so perfect that they can now sit at the right hand of God and judge all others outside of their spectrum.

Race Mixing

Civil Rights Image Archives

It took the Lovings nine years to win their case to stay a married couple in Virginia.  In 1967 they prevailed and Chief Justice Warren issued this statement:

“’Marriage is one of the ‘basic civil rights of man,’ fundamental to our very existence and survival…. To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State’s citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discriminations. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not to marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State.’

The Supreme Court condemned Virginia’s anti-miscegenation law as ‘designed to maintain White supremacy.’”—Wikipedia

***

The most romantic words I’ve ever heard were from the lips of Richard Loving on the HBO special just before the Supreme Court ruling when his lawyer asked if he had any message for the judges:

“Mr. Cohen, tell the court I love my wife!”

Interracial Marriage cartoon Kevin Sters

Kevin Siers/Cartoonist:  www.charlotteobserver.com

I am discovering what I’ve always known:  I love my husband, and I can’t imagine having lived life without him.  I would be half the person I am today.  Marvin Gaye was right when he sang:  “There ain’t nothing like the real thing, baby . . .” In the beginning of our marriage, people used to stare at us all the time and occasionally make cracks about our interracial status (“hey Zebras”).  But now when people of any race stare at this old couple quickly scooting towards our 70’s, they often ask how long we’ve been married, gasp at the answer, and then ask us our secret.  We used to throw two-word one-liners at them:  “it’s communication, it’s respect, it’s laughter, it’s prayer. . .”  But now we just say it is love, and the definition is I Corinthians 13:4-8.

LOVE

If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.

Love never gives up.

Love cares more for others than for self.

Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.

Love doesn’t strut,

Doesn’t have a swelled head,

Doesn’t force itself on others,

Isn’t always “me first,”

Doesn’t fly off the handle,

Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,

Doesn’t revel when others grovel,

Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,

Puts up with anything,

Trusts God always,

Always looks for the best,

Never looks back,

But keeps going to the end.

Love never dies.

***

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY, MY LUV!

THANK YOU RICHARD AND MILDRED LOVING—I CAN HARDLY WAIT TO CHAT WITH YOU IN HEAVEN!

I love You allvoices dot com

www.wallpapermania.eu

QUOTES FOR VALENTINE’S DAY

“Love is no game! It is no flowery softness! It is hard work-a quest that never ends. It demands everything from you-especially the truth. Only then does it yield rewards. -Cupid”Rick Riordan, The House of Hades

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”—Charles M. Schulz

“Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone – we find it with another.”—Thomas Merton Author and Husband

Let us grow old together because living well is the best revenge!

More about how WW and I met in my new book, Monsters’ Throwdown at Amazon and Kindle

REFERENCES

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/06/us/06loving.html

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 
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Posted by on February 9, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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