Spare Me

Facebook and several other websites have reminded me multiple times that today is International Women’s Day.  I consider myself proudly and unabashedly feminist, but I just can’t get into hoorah-girl-power days like this one.  Maybe the vagina-hat-wearing jackasses ruined it for me (damnit, they’re the reason we can’t have nice things).  Nah, that’s not it.  I never liked things like International Women’s Day.

I know a few women who strutted their emblazoned shirts and female-reproductive-organ outfits for the Women’s March last year, and they force-fed us their minute-by-minute updates via Facebook as if they were goodwill ambassadors on a life-saving world tour.  It just made me sad.  What a humongous clog of women who just don’t get it.

I don’t reserve one day per year to stand up for myself.  Something I noticed about the women I personally know who devour crap like the Women’s March and International Women’s Day and the god-awful #metoo bullshit: they tend to be the type of people who talk a lot of smack but don’t deliver much, if any, action.  They tend to be the women constantly posting links, articles, expressing their outrage over something, but if confronted with injustice directly, will meekly cow down, then explode later to their friends, who coo about how sorry they are that she had to endure that, I’m always here to listen, and other mostly meaningless, trite words.  They also tend to be self-proclaimed wounded animals who publicly howl every slight inflicted upon them by society, by this vicious, cruel world, even when no one asked (or cares).

Every day is the day to make the world a better place.  You will have greater impact on this world by the actions and choices you make each day than you will by parading about in an asinine hat, shouting as you march, or posing with a sign scribbled in black Sharpie.  I hate worthless gestures.  Do, damnit, don’t just posture.

What do I mean by that?  I mean that when I was sexually harassed at work, I told the obnoxious pig to back off, never speak to me that way again, and detailed exactly what would happen to him if he did.  I didn’t put up with it like a shrinking, delicate flower, then wait 20 years to “bravely” reveal what happened to helpless little ol’ me.  I mean that when I found out I was being paid less than co-workers with equal training and experience, I immediately talked directly to a supervisor.  I mean that when another company tried to institute a sexist dress code that required pantyhose and skirts for women while men strolled casually about in hoodies and khakis, I was the only woman to march that day, straight into Human Resource’s office to deliver my speech on why the new policy was pure crap.  No other woman I asked, in a huge company of mostly female employees, was willing to accompany me to that meeting, but every woman there benefited when the policy was ultimately struck down.

If you are like the women who hid in their cubicles and let someone else fight their battle while I single-handedly confronted an entire corporate HR department, then we are unlikely to get along.  If you would have walked with me, carrying your own notes, and refused to not be a dog in that fight, I imagine we’d find a lot in common.

Wearing slogan t-shirts is worthless.  Marches, hats, holidays, Facebook posts, Twitter chatter, ribbons, hashtags, all of that is nothing but empty gestures in place of definitive action.  Want to make a change?  Pay attention to what you do every day.  What do you put up with?  What kind of example are you setting for your children about how to handle themselves, and what kind of example are you setting for your sons and daughters about how to treat others?

I have no patience for the wannabe warriors who won’t speak up, won’t stand up, in day-to-day life, but fancy that marching with a horde of like-minded and misguided individuals makes up for it.  I don’t delude myself that sexism doesn’t exist, but I don’t believe for one second that the solution is presenting myself as a daft and idiotic featherbrain parading about in public with a vagina hat, or that hashtagging is anything but irritating.

With three brothers, two stepsons, and a husband, I also don’t pretend that sexism is not alive and well when it comes to men, particularly regarding raising children and the illustrious so-called family court.  If so many people supposedly believe devoutly in equality, why are our family courts still operating with Victorian, one-sided standards?

So spare me the parades, marches, and international days of anything.  Nothing changes with token gestures that ultimately don’t mean a damn thing.  Show the world what you want and what you stand for; don’t just talk and post about it.  How you conduct yourself each day, how you handle yourself, how you interact with others, and what you teach your children by your example will leave a much deeper and much longer lasting impression.

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Posted in action, feminism, women, women's rights | 1 Comment

What I Am Thinking

The other day, a notification popped up on my blog that I was celebrating an anniversary: 10 years on WordPress!  I’m not quite sure where their starting date comes from, because my first Smirking Cat post was October 26, 2007.  Maybe it’s the day I moved over here from Blogger.  Maybe they randomly pulled it from a hat.  Who knows.

Either way, it got me to thinking.  I actually remember the day I got the notion to start a blog.  A co-worker at the time was talking about hers, and she told me I should start one.  I didn’t even know how.  She had to show me how to set one up.

My very first blog was actually not Smirking Cat. I can’t remember the exact title.  It was a hodge-podge of thoughts, rambles, rants, opinions, corny jokes (not much has changed, as you can see).  If you’ve been here a while, or if you’ve read my history page, then you already know that Crow helped spawn Smirking Cat by endlessly bitching and moaning about my old blog.  Again, not much has changed: now she just bitches and moans about this one.

Gary and I have been together so long, it’s funny to think that I started my first blog before I even knew he existed.  What on earth did I write about before I had him and the kids for comedic material?

Maybe I’m just feeling sentimental today.  It was hard getting out of bed this morning, wrapped up comfortably in his arms, impatient and hungry cats stomping all over my head (they know how to ruin a romantic scene, don’t they?)  When I left for work, he was already plugging away in the office, glasses perched on his face, and I turned and glanced at him one more time after kissing him good-bye.  Bear pointed out once that Gary resembles a baby wearing glasses when he wears his glasses, and ever since then, I get an image like this in my head when he has them on:

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It’s like Gary tries to look over and through the glasses at the same time, like he doesn’t really want them on his face and is just barely enduring their presence.  It makes me bite my lip, trying not to laugh, every time he peers at me so seriously over the rim of his glasses.

I was sitting here at work, thinking about him, so he is what I wrote about today.  For over a decade, that is what I have done: write about what I am thinking about.

Today it is Gary.  I miss him today.  I just want to be at his side right now, sharing our ridiculous inside jokes, swapping idiotic nicknames we make up for each other, picking on each other, making the kids shake their heads but smile anyway, because every now and then, we are actually humorous.

A few more hours of work, then I will head home to my baby wearing glasses…no, wait, I mean to my Gary!

Posted in blogoversary, Gary, history, love, my blog | Leave a comment

Gun Control

So, who wants to talk about gun control?  Well, what about abortion, religion, and debating Obama vs. Trump?

Nah, me either.  I wish everyone on Facebook would get on that same page and get back to posting funny cat videos, cartoons, witty puns, and silly jokes.  (And while we’re at it…no more selfies or gross food pictures).  I can dream, right?

Posted in facebook, guns, politics, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sorry

There are times when I fleetingly, briefly, feel sorry for Crow.  Ever watch a low-budget movie with horrible actors, a laughable script, and inwardly cringe and feel embarrassed for everyone involved in making it?  That’s how I feel about Crow sometimes.

It’s hard not to feel embarrassed for her.  She lacks the integrity, pride, or ambition to be ashamed of her own actions and choices, and that just adds to it: does she honestly not know how pathetic she appears to everyone else, including her own children?

She is holed up in a town best known for incest and a raging drug problem; mooching off her father, who is in abject denial of her blatant psychiatric issues; working a meaningless, nothing job where she lies about her job title to feel more important than she is; and married to a blob-man with no spine (or neck) who only stays with her because he was ordered to, and because, let’s get real, no one else would want either of them.

Her life revolves around grilling the kids, peppering them with questions about their father and me: what did he say about this, did they talk about me, any tiny scrap of information she can cling to in order to feel closer to Gary.

No one is this obsessed with her ex-husband, eleven years later, unless there are still feelings there.  Period.

That is when I feel this*close to feeling sorry for Crow.  It’s pathetic and sad.  Her life will always revolve around her ex-husband, who just doesn’t care about her anymore.  She refuses to accept that.  Her existence alternates between desperately trying to get her ex-husband’s attention, and lashing out when he doesn’t respond, punishing him for not wanting her anymore…then trying yet again to make him look at her, talk to her, be near her, whether he wants to or not.

Maybe sometimes she has a moment of sanity, of clarity, when it comes into painful focus how pathetic she is.  Those are the moments she has the choice to do better, be better, move on with whatever meager scraps of life she has.  But she doesn’t. She chooses to stay trapped in the past, clinging to her ex-husband, pretending she hates me instead of being unbearably jealous of me.

She chooses to force the kids to listen to her rant about us, then ask questions about us, text them endlessly when they are with us, demanding to know what we have said, what we are doing, like she is trying to force herself into our lives, a place even she must know she will never be welcomed.  She shoves her insanity, pettiness, and jealousy onto them to bear the brunt and the weight and the scars.

And that is why I ultimately can’t bring myself to feel sorry for her.  Knowing she is hurting the kids, and choosing to continue to do so, doesn’t make her a victim, someone to pity.  It makes her a horrifyingly atrocious parent.  Refusing to admit she desperately needs a therapist, at the very least, and forcing the kids to pay the price for her endless shortcomings and failures, is nothing short of hateful.  Abhorrent.  Contemptible.

In the end, the only ones I find myself feeling sorry for are the kids.  They deserve a hell of a lot better than this…than her.

Posted in anger, bad mother, can't make the bitch be a good parent, crazy ex-wife, kids deserve better, kids pay the price, my kids, pathetic, questioning the kids about us AGAIN, selfish assholes, spying on us | Leave a comment

Learnin’

Gary and I check the kids’ school grades online every day, and it’s become impossible not to see a glaring trend. Their grades, particularly Dove’s, soar and plummet, spike and fall, based on the last time they were with us.

We believe education and an active mind are important, and we’d rather see the kids playing outside with us than drooling mindlessly in front of a TV.  They are required to read for at least 20 minutes a day, and I am very strict about that.

Right after the kids have been here, Dove’s grades hover happily around A’s and B’s.  It doesn’t take long for her to lapse back into bad habits, though, since it’s become nauseatingly clear the kids are not monitored, supervised, or even paid attention to when they are with Crow.  Homework not done?  Whatever.  Read?  Nah.  Get organized for school the next day?  Pffffttt.  Who can be bothered with such menial chores?  Not Crow, that’s for sure.

After a few days, Dove’s grades get shaky.  Give it a week of being back with Crow, and her grades slip.  Give it two weeks, and she is scraping by with C’s and D’s, dipping into the occasional F, like she is now.  The kids haven’t been with us for two weeks, and it shows plainly in their grades.

When they are taught that school isn’t important, that grades don’t matter, that the girls in particular don’t need to be smart because some boy is supposed to do everything for them anyway, well, it’s nearly impossible to scrape out that garbage in less than a weekend.  It’s cemented in there by years of poisoning and poor example by Crow.

In a battle to help the kids get the best education and future that they can, we are constantly fighting the children’s own birth mother, who clearly doesn’t give a damn.  If it doesn’t directly benefit her, then she’s not interested.  If the kids aren’t serving an immediate purpose for her, she doesn’t want anything to do with them, like a spoiled brat heaping unwanted dolls in the corner until she wants them for something.

To make it worse, the kids are trapped in an ass-backward, inbred, hick town, with a school district hell bent on taking days off and doing as little as possible that is remotely related to teaching.  The entire town has a raging attitude that education doesn’t matter.  Who needs any special learnin’ to marry their cousin and stay right there, rotting away in that piece-of-shit town, wallowing in their own ignorance and worthlessness, just like Crow?

Posted in bad mother, better than her, can't make the bitch be a good parent, disgusting, frustration, grades, hick town, Hickville, kids deserve better, my kids, rotten mothers, school | 7 Comments

Girardi

It’s no secret that hockey is an aggressive, physical sport.  Delicate little flowers need not apply.  As rough as the game is, it’s truly surprising that serious injuries don’t happen more frequently than they do.

As long as I’ve been watching hockey, I’ve yet to see one of my Lightning players take a frightening injury.  Of course I’ve seen pulled muscles, hits with sticks, even a player out for several games (or most of a season, like after Stamkos’ surgery), but nothing scary, nothing that silenced the crowd or gave me a sick feeling in my stomach.

Until the other night.

Dan Girardi, a defenseman, was blocking a shot against the Detroit Red Wings, when the puck bounced and shot straight into the back of his head, or the back of his neck.  It was hard to tell, it happened so fast.  He immediately collapsed onto the ice, face first, and wasn’t moving.

Girardi

I don’t even like to see players that I can’t stand get injured.  So seeing a beloved Lightning player fall to the ice was scary, especially when he still wasn’t moving.  Players and refs quickly gathered around him, and Red Wing players dragged trainers from both teams over to him in a panic.

When Girardi finally sat up and was able to skate off the ice, with assistance, but on his own two feet, the arena broke into relieved applause.

After a series of concussion test, Girardi amazingly joined the team for practice yesterday, saying his neck is a “little sore”.  I bet!

Coach Jon Cooper said, “It was a scary moment for all of us.  But what else can you say about him?  He’s a warrior.”  Indeed.

According to Girardi, he’s just “happy to be back at practice with the boys.”  He also joked, in typical hockey fashion, “It was tough to probably see that,” then added, “Being a part of it wasn’t fun either.”

Posted in hockey, injury, scare, Tampa Bay Lightning | Leave a comment

Grrrrrrr!

Remember when I said I didn’t want to get too excited about my hockey team, the maddening and the frustrating Tampa Bay Lightning, making it to the play-offs this year, and even possibly bringing the Stanley Cup back home to Tampa?  (I said that barely a month ago, so I will operate on the assumption that you do indeed remember).

My team, by some miracle, is still #1 in the NHL.  But you would never have guessed that by how they played against the Ottawa Senators this past weekend.

Picture a herd of sleepy, clumsy kittens with mini hockey sticks taped to their paws, turned loose on an ice rink.  That’s a rough equivalent to how my Lightning looked during this game (though not nearly as adorable).  It was like they all suffered traumatic, blunt-force head injuries before the game and lost all recollection of the game of hockey.

They were slow.  They were sloppy.  They were careless.  Even Vasilevskiy, our super-star goalie, played like crap, letting in six goals.  Yes, six!

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The Senators making one of SIX goals during this pathetic game

I couldn’t even finish watching the game.  My team can do better than this.  If they were playing that bad, it’s because they chose to, for whatever stupid reason.  This season is nowhere near over, and the Lightning have not clinched a spot in the play-offs yet.  They better start playing like they give a damn again.

Posted in Andrei Vasilevskiy, frustrated, hockey, NHL, Tampa Bay Lightning | Leave a comment