What do you do with all of the words and thoughts and silly anecdotes that you carry around in your head day after day? If you’re me, you find a place to put them; a catch-all, like a little bowl on your dresser where you keep the jewelry you wear every day. If you’re like me, you find that you’ve added to the collection as time passes, and so you need to decide what stays in the daily line-up and what needs to be archived in the big jewelry box.
This blog is my big jewelry box. When I was a little girl, I would go through my grandma’s jewelry box from time to time, fascinated with the dozens of pieces she kept in there. The box was shaped like a clock and had a music box inside, which was pretty ingenious, because opening it was truly like going back in time and catching glimpses of her life and who she really was. With a soundtrack, albeit a twinkly, tinny version of a song I still don’t know, but can hear in my mind to this day. It was magical, delving into her past and “seeing” her in a different way. I knew a quieter, softer, and more broken-down version of Rhea; a body ravaged by the excesses of her day, before we knew that those excesses could and would kill you. In that jewelry box was a lady, a dazzling, sexy, classy, beautiful lady with impeccable taste. That jewelry box contained the real Rhea. This blog contains the real me. So here I go, archiving things I need to unload, because the weight of them in my mind makes my thinking sluggish, and it’s growing too crowded to move.
I don’t like people. When I say this, I don’t mean every human on the planet. Obviously, there are humans who I love and want to be around, and humans who I like and enjoy talking to. But….but. I love certain humans, definitely, but don’t want to be in contact with even them on a daily basis. My anxiety disorder hums in the background of my consciousness even when I’m sufficiently benzoed. It’s a part of me, always providing a current of electrical energy that, while distressing, is also familiar. With medication, it doesn’t overtake me and make it impossible for me to connect with others. I do feel the need to control how much I rely on medication to quiet the hum, so days of isolation are essential for me. Days where the hum is loud, but human interaction is limited.
I’m still mystified that I’m doing well at work. This is certainly a much more aloof job in terms of human interaction. My administrative jobs were less personal in that they involved more phone interaction than face-to-face. I’m great at that. My nursing home experience was more interactive, but on an intimate basis, with care giving thrown in. I excel at that. This job, though. I worried at first. I was afraid at first. I really, really don’t like seeing people at their worst. It simply affirms my belief that everyone is capable of shittiness.
People are at their worst when they shop. I am lucky, I suppose, to be more in a support position, behind the scenes, than out on the front lines, having to put on a happy face and be accomodating and pleasant even when being screamed at for something stupid, like not being able to honor a coupon. Seriously, people? You find it necessary to insult and tear down a cashier because the register – which has all the criteria programmed into its system – refuses a .25 off coupon that states that you must purchase a 24 oz ketchup, not the 16 oz you are insisting be honored “because I just don’t need the bigger size.” The cashier is “fucking stupid”, the store is “ignorant”, the manager you demanded to see is “a clueless asshole”, and you’re “calling corporate.” Please. Shop online. And go to hell while you’re at it. Cashiering is a brave job. Don’t ever think less of the person cashing you out. Cashiers are warriors on the front lines of a war we call commercialism. Cashiers deserve hazard pay.
I think that I dislike children. Not my own. Not my grandkids. Okay, not kids who behave. The ones who scream, whine, fall onto the floor and throw fits in public, or who race shopping carts and rip apart merchandise? Not so much. Maybe it isn’t the kids I should dislike. Maybe it’s their parents who need smacked upside their heads for allowing and basically supporting such behaviors. When did ignoring your crying child – no matter how loud or how long he/she screams, “I WANT A TOY!” – become the acceptable way for dealing with such behavior? When your child is hysterical, sweaty, and you’ve made the rounds of the store TWICE while ignoring their screams, are you not only doing a gross disservice to the people around you but also committing a form of child abuse?
These people mystify me. Their kids give me a headache. It also makes me eye every child with suspicion, much like a Clint Eastwood-esque scenario ( GET OFF MY LAWN.). Is this little shit gonna start howling for something? I don’t advocate spanking. Wait. The fuck I don’t. I don’t advocate child abuse. I do advocate discipline. I was rarely spanked as a child. I can recall three times. And you know what? I deserved every single one. I was being a shit, a brat, and openly defying my mother. And I didn’t like those spankings, and that influenced my behavior in the future. It wasn’t about the pain, because it stung for a while and then faded. It was about the shame. The humiliation. Having disappointed a person I loved and depended on. I knew that I had been acting like an asshole. She called me on it. That was not a good feeling. More kids should experience that. Parents are parents. Not friends. Parenting is not a democracy. Somehow, we’ve allowed kids to think it is, though. Before you know it, the world is going to become overrun with self-centered, entitled brats who are, at best, sociopaths.
Which brings me to the presidential race. Come on, be honest….I said “sociopath” and some of you immediately thought, “Trump”. Am I right? I hope I am.
Look, I don’t like our choices. In many ways, it’s the lesser of two evils. But one is certainly more experienced and has the ability to run a country. You don’t have to like her. I don’t. I didn’t like my high school principal, either. But he was competent at the job and had all the qualifications. The other choice? Are we fucking serious? Yes, I guess we are. He secured the nomination despite every card-carrying, notable member of his party denouncing him while simultaneously accepting him. He has incited a riot of citizens who think he “hears” them. He is certainly saying the things they think. Terrible, mysoginistic, racist, hateful things. And there are enough of them to elect him. This terrifies me. It should you, too. I’m not suggesting that we don’t need help in this country. We DO. The help we are in such desperate need of, though, is not to be found in the dealings of a circus-barker like shyster who has never actually read a book in his life. What we need is bipartisanship. Everyone working together for the common good. Addressing the needs of the country and resolving to link hands in solidarity, roll up our sleeves, and get the job done side by side. I’ve urged this since President Obama was elected. I’ve hoped for it. Now, I despair that it’s ever going to happen. A mob mentality has taken root. And I am afraid.
I don’t like admitting fear of anything. Except clowns and balloons. I am terrified of both. And isn’t Trump sort of an orange-hued clown, with his wife and children bobbing along behind him on strings like helium-filled latex? That’s how I see it. And so, I guess that I am feeling like it’s okay to admit my fear. Certainly, plenty of others are, too. But will it be enough to quash the hatred that has overtaken this country? I welcome your views, because I’m out of fresh ones.
Wow. I tied mental illness, Voldemort, and Donald Trump together in this blog. Can you see why I need my jewelry box?