Saturday, January 14, 2017

I'm sick and I took cold meds...

I thought I was on the upswing of what was a mild cold. But no. I was sliding into the deepest, darkest pits of what we call the common cold. So...that's not clever at all. I'm sick and bored. You're not getting Grade A material tonight. It's a cold and I already took two horse-size pills of decongestants. I apologize to all the people I talked to today. I didn't mean to be Typhoid Mary at the homeschool meeting. But there we go. Call me Mary.

A couple of weeks ago in my class, we talked about how our body never fights the exact same virus twice because our body makes anti-bodies to fight them. That's why viruses are always changing so they can continue to infect us. I hate viruses. So at this very moment, my body is fighting an epic, once in a lifetime battle against an army of viruses that I am naming The Orks. Oh yes. We're going Middle Earth. If this virus is made up of Orks, then I am the thousands of Rohan people trapped inside Helms Deep. It looks bad, folks. It's dark. I've got no groceries. The Orks are trying to break down my system one assault at a time. In other words, I realized I had a fever when I started shivering for no reason.  I'm holding on to...

"Look to my coming on the first light of the fifth day, at dawn look to the east." Gandalf

In other words, this thing started on Wednesday so I'm hoping I wake up feeling much better tomorrow morning. You know, darkest before the dawn? Gandalf (aka my immune system) will show up with his army of elves and destroy this virus.  I know they'll regroup and attack in the next movie, but I just want them to go away now!  

Okay, the meds are kicking in. It's not safe for me to write anymore. If you stuck through this rambling piece of medicated fan fiction, you're good people. You either truly love me, or you're really bored in which case, can I recommend a few Netflix items for you? First, The Crown is excellent. There are a few nude scenes of Matt Smith from behind, just FYI. Also, Sherlock has new episodes to watch (but I am way behind on Sherlock so don't talk to me about it). The White Rabbit Project is fun if you like science Myth Busters type stuff.  If you have Sling, I came across 10 Things I Hate About You last night which is one of my FAVORITE 90s movies so it might be on again. Gladiator has been on a lot too. I forgot how good it is. 

This makes it seem like I watch a lot of TV. Um...I do sometimes...but I also read books. Don't judge me for this. 

Sunday, January 8, 2017

On "Why I Quit The Church"

Last week my church started a new series called "Why I Quit The Church", and it has been speaking to my heart. But before I go into that, I have a few random thoughts/updates.

1. I started my baby runner program last week! I almost waited to start because of the cold weather this weekend, but I'd already told people I was going to do this. If I didn't start, I'd have to tell those same people my lame excuse for why I backed out. So I started. It's the most basic running program ever. The goal is to be able to run a mile without stopping. It will take me about 4 weeks to get to this point. I've been walking 2 miles and throwing in the short runs in the middle according to plan. I need lots of mini successes to give me the momentum to keep going. And I've hidden my stash of dark chocolate covered cherries which has greatly reduced my sugar intake. Lots of baby health steps going on this week.

2. I ripped a huge hole in the only pair of jeans I owned that I could wear my tall boots with so I bought a new pair of jeans this week. They're the Rockstar Skinny jeans from Old Navy. They mock me. Rockstar? Skinny? I am a 35 year old woman. What am I wearing Rockstar Skinny jeans for? They should make jeans called Mom Wants to Wear Boots jeans. We can call them MWWBs. At least they'd be honest. Unless we're going with my imaginary version of myself in which case they should be called Rockstar Skinny Published Olympic Ice Skating Gold Medalist Jeans.

Okay. Now that I've gotten that off my chest, let me tell you about this "Why I Quit the Church" thing. If you've had any kind of real friendship with me over the last 7 years or so, you know that I've gone through a long period of church...frustrations. They were admittedly more my problem than any church's. I've moved on and can actually say for the first time in 7-8 yrs that I actually love the church. Today's message had some really good points that I need to talk about. Since I have no one to talk to today, I'm blasting this out here instead.

First, "Churches are not meant to be perfect little utopias of sinlessness." I just really liked this quote. Although I know all to well that the church is made up of broken people, it's easy to think of the church as a destination we've arrived at instead of a gathering of people on a journey. We're people meeting at a way station for some refreshment before going on our way again.

Second, we covered cliques. Although the word has a bad connotation, it's really another word for a circle of friends. Every organization/school/workplace will have circles of people that are in some kind of relationship together. The important part is to not close ourselves off to new people. Although I would never describe myself as cliquey, I have to admit that a couple of years ago, I was kind of done with adding new people to my circle. Letting people into my life and getting into theirs is exhausting, and I'd spent that last few years expanding my circle with every move. To really have relationships with people inevitably means that it will cost me something, and I'd overspent in that department for too long.

I am a big believer in the slices of life philosophy. When I compare my life to pie (obviously I go with a food analogy), I have to recognize that certain slices are going to involve different things. A couple of years ago when I was in the "my life pie slice just fell on the floor and someone stepped on it" phase, I had nothing to offer anyone. I needed people to see my metaphorical self smooshed on the floor and help put me back together. Thankfully, my circle was there to get me through everything. Unfortunately, my church wasn't really a part of that healing process. It was disheartening, but I also knew that I'd spent some time being standoff-ish so really, what did I expect?

After spending most of last year trying hard to grow relationships within our church, I believe things would be different now. It's a hard thing to balance though. So many times, people enter the church because they're empty, broken, and don't have it in them to work hard at building friendships with new people. BUT it's not fair to ask people to love, listen, and care about you if you're not willing to do the same for them. BUT again, as people that follow Christ, we should show love and compassion to everyone whether we deem them deserving or not. As if we can make that determination in the first place. There's a tension that everyone needs to recognize. If you're happy and whole, you have the privilege and ability to be watchful for those people that are barely making it through the door. If you're the person white-knuckling it through life at the moment, you have to push just a little harder to let someone in, to let them know what you're dealing with.

Personally, I never actually gave up on church even if I did spend too much time going out of obligation. I definitely took my time to just be at church every week. And I think that's okay. We can't always be on. We can't always be in the middle of everything. Sometimes we need to take a time out to prioritize and rest. Don't quit because you're "just not feeling it" for a few months.

During the message, in that same vein of relationships costing us, our pastor specifically mentioned marriage. About one's spouse, he said, "One day you wake up and think 'I don't like you! You're costing me a lot. Time, money, energy...'". And this is true. If you haven't had this thought about your spouse you haven't been married long or you're not doing it right. Obviously we don't stay in that place. The gain is greater. Everyone is annoying sometimes, but we stay committed to find a greater joy and reward. My relationship with my church is the same way. Sometimes I look at it and think "I don't like you right now!" But I keep at it because the reward is great.  And..probably people at my church have looked at me and thought the same thing. It's okay. I can be annoying sometimes. But it's a relationship worth working through. The church is the bride of Christ. I can't just look at someone's bride and say, I don't like who you picked. You should have held out for better. Especially since I'm part of that package.

Okay, that's all. I'm done. Go enjoy your Sunday evening before Monday morning hits you like a wrecking ball between the eyes.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

2017 Goals

I am so excited for this year to start! That's not even a sarcastic statement. Last year was really good for us. It was so good that I'm looking forward to 2017 with anticipation instead of my usual trepidation. In the past few years, I've stayed away from specific New Years Resolutions because I always quit them. I switched to broader overarching goals that have actually worked better for me. Yearly themes offered the kind of flexibility that I needed to succeed. 

However, as I've considered things I want to focus on this year, some pretty specific things keep coming to mind. They still fit under my major life goals of marriage, personal growth, spiritual growth, and family, but I'm getting into the details this year (Geez. I sound like a life coach or something).  So here's what I'm thinking for 2017.

  • My husband loves gifts. Presents speak to his heart. They do not speak to my heart. My excitement over a gift is that a person spent their time on me. I like experiences and gifts of service. But you see, there's this weird thing about marriage. It's not all about me. I know. It seems so unfair, right? So in the spirit of speaking love and life or whatever into our marriage, I'm committing to giving Jon one wrapped gift a month. I love Jon. He's an amazing guy so I'm going to work extra hard to speak his language this year. 

  • For personal growth, that's easy for me. I will spend the first half of my year preparing for living my lifelong dream of going to France!!!!!!! OHMYGOSH I'M SO EXCITED!!!!   I'm going to brush up on my French, take my exercise seriously again because I do NOT want to be the chubby American girl in Paris. I also want to be ready to enjoy all the foods France has to offer without guilt. And I'll be reading some books on the things I'll see, watching movies set in Paris, etc. All the France Stuff!!!  

  • As for Jesus, this one may sound a little strange, but I'm going back to bringing my actual Bible to church. I started using my Bible app on my phone years ago. Honestly, it was just easier. I can't tell you how many times I dropped my Bible because I was holding a toddler, a diaper bag, a sippy cup, and another child's hand. I've really noticed a difference in my retention though since I made the change. I need to physically hold the book and flip to the page. It makes such a big difference in how much I get from reading or listening to a sermon. And I don't have all the extra little kid detritus to deal with anymore so I'm without excuse. This year, I'm ditching the app and going old school with my physical Bible. 

  • Family...Okay. I don't have a specific one for family. With Tommy, I'm starting to feel the urgency that comes as a child gets closer to leaving the nest. I'm trying to act cool about it, but I keep thinking of all these things that we might have missed teaching him. Or worse, what if we taught him how to do life ALL WRONG?!?!  Charlotte is closing in on middle school. Matthew is...well, he's Matthew. It's hard to nail him down in a word. I guess my goal for this year is to spend time trying to see who they are individually and speaking what they need. It's so easy to treat them as a group, but they're individuals with their own specific needs, talents, dreams, and struggles. I want to zero in on them as people and help them along on their own path, whatever that road may look like. 

So that's my plan for 2017. Feel free to ask me how things are going. I'll warn you now that I will find a way to drop France into my conversations on a regular basis. I'm too excited to keep it inside. I'm like a pregnant mom that talks about her baby and pregnancy all the time. I'm pregnant with a dream. I have to talk about the dream!

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year's Eve!

Happy New Year's Eve!  To finish out our year, I did what any other thrifty person does and took advantage of 75% off sale of all Christmas decorations. We're now fully loaded with lights and wrapping paper for next Christmas. I took Charlotte out with me and hit up Chicken Salad Chick for lunch. It's our new "ladies lunch" place. We rounded out the day with a trip to Staples to buy more school supplies for tutoring so that I can write them off on my taxes. It was a weird mix of proactive and procrastinated purchasing all in one.

So while Charlotte and I enjoyed our lunch, I asked her what she thought were the best and worst moments for her in 2016. She gave me a list of best moments, but neither of us could come up with a decent worst moment. We both came up blank. I know the year looked awful in the news, but for the Dumonts, it was full of normal, happy moments. I think this was a year of depth for us. After spending the last 15 years widening our experiences, lengthening our list of former addresses, adding actual humans to the world and getting them to the point that they can dress, feed, and buckle themselves in the car, this year we grew deeper.

I hope everyone has a wonderfully safe, peaceful, joyful celebration of the end of another year!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

So this thing happened to me one time...

Well, I was wrong. Donald Trump actually became the President of the United States of America. Since I did not foresee any election result that would end with me feeling satisfied, I did not fall apart upon his win. It was more of a surprised resignation. I'd hoped the worst would be over once the election was decided, but alas. That was not to be. Now I turn on the news or facebook to see faces and words twisted in rage and fear, disgust and hubris. And the thing is, there is no good side and bad side. Both sides are spewing the same venom at each other. Still.

But this isn't really what I wanted to say. Fair or not, Trump has brought a lot of controversy with him, especially with his treatment of women. His statements throughout the campaign, the hot mic, and now the backlash that includes protesters supposedly holding up signs advocating violence towards our soon to be FLOTUS are unavoidable. The part of all this that's troubled me the most is the defense of these statements, the accusations being written off as fake without consideration, or the "she was asking for it" mindset.  I cannot abide by these things because I know why a woman wouldn't make a report when someone has physically assaulted and threatened her. At least I know why I didn't make a report.

 This thing that happened to me is not something that I think about all the time. Honestly, I was completely caught off guard when the memories started hitting me again, and I realized that I had not dealt with everything as completely as I thought I had. I will spare you most of the details, but here's what happened to me when I was 16. In high school,  I briefly dated a guy that was very controlling. I was at least able to see the warning signs early enough to break up with him after a few months. Unfortunately, that did not seem to deter him. He became fixated on me. He would call repeatedly at night. He would show up wherever I happened to be. I felt unsafe, but I couldn't have given you a concrete reason as to why I felt that way. Even after he started dating another girl, he still continued to repeatedly call, swear he loved me, and follow me. I made it very clear that I did not want his attention nor did I want him to call. On this one thing, he ignored me.

We were in a class together, and at the end of class one particular day, the teacher stepped out of the room leaving us students alone and waiting for the lunch bell to ring.  After he was told by a mutual friend that I might have some proof of what he'd been saying to me, he was enraged. He flew across the room, grabbed me around my upper arm, and dragged me to the other side of the room where he then slung me around so he could put his face right up to mine. I was barely 115 pounds at the time, and he was very strong. His hand wrapped around my upper arm so tightly and completely that I couldn't pull away. I begged him to let me go. I pulled at his fingers to get free. I tried to drop to the ground, but he pulled me up by my arm. He demanded that I give him whatever proof I had. When I told him I didn't have anything, he put his face so close to mine that we almost touched noses, and he said he would kill me if I ever tried to get anything on him again. And in that moment, neither of us had any doubt that he meant it. Then the bell rang, he let me go, and I went to lunch with my friends.

Oh, did you forget that part? Did you forget that all of this happened in a room full of people that watched the entire thing? I don't think anyone heard him threaten to kill me, but they saw and heard every bit of the rest. And no one did a thing. No one said a word. The room was silent throughout the entire experience. Maybe they were shocked. Maybe they didn't know how bad it was. My friends certainly realized when they saw my arm that was swollen and badly bruised within minutes of it happening. By the time I sat down at the lunch table, you could see a very distinct black and blue hand print around my red and swollen upper arm. I'd never known that a bruise could show up so quickly.

A few minutes into lunch, he walked into the cafeteria, saw me, and came over to my table. He looked pleased when he saw me. He smiled with pride. He leaned in to threaten to kill me again, but that time it felt like it was more for dramatic effect. The next day I was told that most of the school knew what happened (small town and a small school of course), and everyone was split on whether or not I deserved it. The day after that, he got me alone in another classroom (seriously, where were all the teachers?!), pinned me up against a wall, and asked to see my arm. He looked at the bruises that were now less swollen but varying shades of blue, black, purple, and yellow, and he looked proud. Finally he said, "I hope the scars on your heart last longer than the bruises on your arm." Then he sauntered off.

It was an awful time for me. I'd never been treated that way in my life. I had already been told that half the school assumed I'd deserved it, and I was scared to make things worse. So I didn't tell any adults at first. The bruising was too much to hide for long, especially since it was still hot and long sleeves would be suspicious in its own way. A teacher saw it first and made me tell them what happened. The incident was never reported officially, possibly because that teacher would have been in trouble for not being in the room when everything happened. Ultimately, I don't know why it wasn't reported. The teacher talked to the ex-boyfriend, and he did back off a little bit after that. He was never really out of my life until I moved away. There were some scary moments, but nothing like what happened that one particular day. The teacher did insist that I tell my parents, but by now I was insistent that nothing be done. Why should anything be done? At that point, I was convinced that I must have done something wrong, and I had no confidence that anyone else would take it seriously. I wasn't sure if it even needed to be taken seriously. After all, what are a few bruises really?

And now. Why does this come back to me now? It was such a long time ago. I wish I had a good answer for why now, but I don't. I do know that it wasn't until two days ago that I finally knew that I had not deserved or earned any of what happened. I guess it took 19 years to realize that I was not responsible for what happened to me. No one deserves to have their life threatened. To be so completely dominated physically that you both know that he is in complete control. To be the violent show for a silent audience. And no one should have hand prints bruised onto their body.

As for our soon-to-be President, I don't know what he's done or not done. I don't know what is bragging, what is miscommunication, and what is true. All I know is that he's brought this topic to the forefront of the news cycle again and again whether he means to or not. And in doing that, I was forced to deal with my own issues. So yes. I'm extra sensitive about the mistreatment of women and children whether it's rape or physical abuse. And no, I don't count a woman's slow resolve to report abuse to be a cause for disbelief. The guy doesn't hit the first time he gets angry. It's a process of convincing her that she's less and making her question herself at every turn. It takes time to overcome that kind of mindset.

This is not a story I've told many people. In fact, I think the only people I've told other than my parents are my husband and my college roommate. It was one of those things that I didn't want to talk about, thought I'd dealt with and moved on from, and was deeply personal. Even now, I've reread this at least 20 times looking for all the ways that I might be blamed. I know this story is incomplete. I've given you a summary of one chapter of a longer story that covers 2 1/2 years.  It became a defining moment in my life whether I wanted it to be or not. It changed me as a person. And now I share it with you in case someone else needs to hear that it's really not their fault.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

On October and marriage

Has anyone else noticed that October generally sucks as a month? No? It's just me then? I called my friend at the beginning of the week in a puddle of self-pity and fatigue, and she had brilliantly already connected the dots for me. October tends to be the month where I crash and burn.  I've already learned that February is the holiday/homeschool hangover month, but I had not yet seen how October tends to be a struggle as well. After looking through my journal writing and blog posts for October over the years, it's clearly a trouble spot in my life.

Is it the hot temperatures and pathetically dull leaves we get for "autumn" here in Charleston when I've had a lifetime of cooler weather and fall colors? Am I bogged down by school? After all, we're well past the excitement and momentum that comes with the beginning of school and decidely in the painful persevering marathon section of the first semester (to be repeated in February). We're too far in to be excited and too far away from the holidays to feel that push to the end.

I don't know if the decline in my cooking and general housekeeping is a cause or result of October's demise, but does it matter all that much? In the end, I've had more soda and coffee in the last 2 months than I'll usually drink all year. I'm convinced the laundry pile is becoming a sentient being based on its ability to reproduce. And I'm pretty sure it growled at me when I tried to put everything away a few days ago. The bathrooms...oh God. The bathrooms. I was supposed to clean them at some point this month. On the bright side, I now know that October and February are spirit animals. I'll remember to watch out for this next year.  At least I won't be caught off guard when the bathrooms don't get cleaned and Moe's welcomes us with embarrassing familiarity.

And that brings me to today. I will be honest (because the bathroom confession wasn't enough), this week has stretched me as a person in ways that I'd prefer to not be stretched at the moment. My husband and I have been doing this marriage thing for nearly 16 years now. We've got our roles down. We generally agree on the important things. We discuss both sides, and we come to a consensus that we're both happy with. We're so mature. Usually. Sometimes we discuss both sides, and we still don't agree. That's where we found ourselves in October (see? October is a terrible month).  After landing on opposite sides of an issue, one of us had to make a decision, and I was less than thrilled with the result. It's not like the decision was a bad decision, but I did not get my way on this one.

Compounding my frustration was an overwhelming need to sleep for daaaayzzzz. Fatigue and frustration are terrible partners, and they were messing with my life. After taking some naps and going to bed early a few nights, I was ready to deal with the heart of the matter. Jon had made a decision that he had the right to make, and I was pushing back too hard after the discussion was done. The negativity was branching out into other parts of my life. Sigh. Bitterness is a terrible way to spend one's life, and I was tenderly watering the little bitter root in my heart.

I've already done the garden of bitterness in my marriage before, and it is not a place I care to be in again. So where did that leave me? Well, it led me to today where I thankfully had the ability to go off by myself for the day so I could have some time to think a complete and uninterrupted thought and prayer. I wrote out the issue. Then I wrote out the ways that I've contributed to our situation because yes, friends. As unbelievable as it may be, I have contributed in our circumstance.  Then I started to write all the ways I can fix the issue before realizing that I can't plan my way out of a heart problem.

Although there are some practical things I can do to help re-position our family, I ultimately have to recognize my role in things. And that role is not to push and pull until I get my way. I can try to passionately persuade to my opinion, but once a decision is reached, I have to honor it. If Jon is really the leader of our family, he gets to lead the way he feels he should, not the way I tell him to. There is frustration in that for me. There's also freedom. This week I was feeling the frustration, but now I'm actively seeking out the freedom.

And now I'm anxiously looking forward to November. The month when the holidays will give us the boost we need to keep moving with school. The month that brings the end to all things ELECTION related. Praise. The. Lord.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Locker room talk (I used the same language used by the Rep nominee, you've been warned)

I apologize immediately for the crude language you're about to read. I'd censor it, but I think people need to be confronted with the reality of what is being said. Besides, if this vocabulary is good enough for the Republican Presidential Nominee, I guess it's appropriate to quote.  Now that I've got my disclaimer out of the way, here we go.

Let me tell you what happened this past Friday. The battery in my van died. After asking a very nice person to jump start my vehicle, I drove to the nearest auto store. If you're a woman, you already know what happened next. It took me a solid 20 minutes to convince the man at the store that I needed a new battery. He was very nice as he condescendingly told me that my battery couldn't be dead. It must be blah blah blah. Twenty Minutes. My kids were in the car, I continued to be friendly and polite as I repeatedly told the man that I did indeed need a new battery, and the reason his little machine wouldn't work was because my battery was that far gone. I almost went to the Golden Ticket Girl response: "My husband told me to get a new battery, so that's what I have to do." But I am so tired of having to pull the husband card every time I have to deal with my car. I couldn't stomach the words this time, so it took twice as long to get a battery for my van. Once he agreed that I actually did need a new battery, we went to look at the inventory on the computer. Just as I mentally prepared myself for the argument over why I didn't need the  most expensive battery for my 10 year van with nearly 200,000 miles, I was relieved to see they were out of the expensive battery. Then we spent another 15 minutes actually doing the transaction because the man didn't know how to use the computer system for a sale. But I'm just a girl that doesn't know a dead battery from a flat tire so what do I know? It's frustrating to be treated as inferior because I'm a woman.

And what news do I have thrust in my face for the past few days whenever I try to keep up with what's going on in our world?  I get to hear over and and over again how Donald Trump, the Republican nominee for President of the United States, was recorded making "crude and sexist" remarks; locker room chit chat not meant for women's ears. Then I get to hear how all the Republicans think his remarks are either inappropriate, crude, not a true representation of who Trump is today, etc.

Because I have absolutely no experience of what goes on in a men's locker room, I asked my husband. He's been in the military for over 20 years. Military guys are known for their vulgarity. I asked if he'd ever heard other men talking about grabbing women by their pussy or kissing them without permission because they want to. Is it really common for men to brag about sexual assault? Because that's what this is. This is a man bragging about kissing and grabbing women in their, as he calls them, pussies because he can. According to Trump, the women won't even do anything about it because he's "a star".  And do you know, my husband has never heard those conversations. I'm not talking about the breaking down of a woman's worth by the length of her legs, the size of her tits, or her fuckability. I get that. I know it happens frequently. I'm talking about the cavalier attitude of pushing yourself on a woman without permission. That's NOT what every man does or says.

Not that a woman's desire has anything to do with this man's actions, but let's just cover it anyway. Does any man really think a woman wants a man to just walk up and kiss her because he deems her desirable? That a women enjoys a man grabbing her in her most private and sensitive area because he wants to? Perhaps some people will be surprised to find out that women aren't going about their days secretly hoping some famous man will walk up and grab her in her genitals.

But let's be real. This was never about what any woman wanted. This is about what a man wanted. Trump is a toddler. He sees something he wants so he takes it. He feels entitled to it. Why else would a person feel free to act in that manner and brag about it?  This recording doesn't merely record a man making crude and sexist remarks eleven years ago. This is a recording of a man describing himself physically pushing himself on women because he feels he deserves to do so.

And what I truly don't get is why everyone is making excuses for him. If some man walked up to me, kissed me and grabbed me, every person I know would be horrified for and with me. If some man walked up to my 10 year old daughter and did the same thing, I can't imagine the response. This eleven year old recording and the embarrassingly said "apology" for any offense he might have caused says that it's okay for a man to take what he wants from a woman because he is entitled. She is less. His wants trump hers.

This is the point where some people will say that I'm blowing this out of proportion. And to a man, I would say he should imagine another man walking up to his wife, daughter, or mother, and kissing her and groping her in front of you. Is that okay? If you're a woman, imagine that happens to you. Are you okay with these actions? Or would you feel violated? Because I'd press charges.

Up to now, I could somewhat respect people and their choice to choose Trump over Hillary. But not now. Do not tell me why Trump is better. Do not tell me why a man that has systematically marginalized groups of people throughout his campaign is better than Hillary Clinton. Do not tell me why you think it's okay and better to vote for a person for President of the United States of America that has acted and bragged about such actions. It's NOT OKAY to kiss and grab women without their permission. It's 2016! I shouldn't have to say this! But in the year of rapists getting a slap on the wrist as to avoid hurting their future and the presidential nominee boasting about using his position to get what he wants (and again, we're supposed to trust him with the power of the presidency?), this has to be said. It's not okay. Hear it again. this is not mere locker room talk, and it is not okay.

For the sake of our friendship, if you're going to vote for Trump, don't talk to me about it. If you think what was said and done is okay and normal, then your opinion of men's behavior and a woman's worth is entirely too low.

Finally, I am in no way saying I prefer Clinton as a choice. I find her equally repulsive, although I don't seem to have the viscerally repulsive response for her that Trump can inspire. And really, the Trump people need to start dealing with the reality of a Clinton presidency now.  When the Republican party let a man like Trump get the nominee, you lost the election then. Now we're just going through the motions. The best you can hope for is a Republican Congress to bring some balance.

And now I'm done. I wish I could say that I feel better and expect to reach people, but I don't. After all, I'm just a woman writing out her obviously emotional thoughts. I must be bleeding from my whatever.