Sunday, September 20, 2009

I write. I vent. I post.

This much is true: I love my country. I’m a registered democrat. I have opinions. I voted for Obama. I pray to Jesus. I want the best possible future for us all. I check my facts. I pause. I think. I even pause TO think! I’ve participated in political discussions when I believed that my words might count for something. I’ve opted out of political discussions when it became evident that no one was really interested in listening to anyone else. I’ve also dismissed myself from conversations whose subjects I clearly know nothing about, readily admitting as much; and I have rolled my eyes at those in the same boat of ignorance I’m in, but who just keep talking anyway. I’ve actually deleted one person from my friends’ list when he crossed over the boundaries of mutual respect and a general sense of decency and continued to splatter his dogmatic sentiments on my facebook page. These are not secrets to anyone.

Here are some things that I’ve been accused of that are not true: I’m “sold out” to Obama (although sometimes I do refer to him as “my boyfriend, Barack.”) I “fall for” everything he says. I usually vote with Hollywood. I’m a bleeding heart. I’m a liberal. I’m persuaded in my politics by the left-loving media. I’m intolerant of anyone who does not agree with me (that was Splatter-guy. I didn’t, incidentally, agree with him.) I’m not a “true” Christian, or at least not a good one. I have given my own political opinions precedence over the Scriptures to the point that I am now “blind” to God’s truth. AND—drum roll, please—I am a bitter malcontent.

Love that one.

I have also been accused of “persecuting” someone for his faith, when, truly and honestly, I was only persecuting him for being a dumbass. He had it coming.

So, let’s clarify: I’m “sold out” to the One who brought me to this place in my life and, I assure you, it’s not Barack Obama. I don’t “fall for” what my President says. I listen to him—God knows we can hear him every day if we want to anytime of day. He’s always on. I believe he is a good man who wants to make the most of his Presidency and do right by this country. I don’t give a shit what Hollywood does or doesn’t do. My heart does bleed. I’m only a liberal when I stand next to someone who calls himself “ultra-conservative.” Next to liberals? I’m Doris Day. My feelings of and for the media vacillate between acknowledging the fact that they are crucially instrumental in protecting us from bad government as well as bad ANYTHING and wanting to drown them all in the deepest ocean. Am I a Christian? Sure, if it makes you feel better. Or not, if THAT makes you feel better. Suffice to say, Christ knows me. If I could just touch the hem of His garment and, perhaps, lie with Him, swinging in a hammock between two palm trees on the beach and talk and talk and talk and talk—just the two of us. Am I a good Christian? That’s a WHOLE other blog post, my friends. Like Yancey says, I’m just a pilgrim, a foreigner in this land, trying to get home.

Let’s see… What else? Have I elevated my own opinions over the Scriptures, thereby, poking my spiritual eyes out with my “pride-stick” ‘cuz I’m just SMARTER than the average bear? I wish you could hear me pray. But, no.

No.

No.

No.

And I know what bitter looks like. It’s a block I’ve been around, and I promise you, bitter I am not. Angry I am not. I can get my panties in a wad when provoked just like everyone else, but I have a joy that this world did not give me and, therefore, cannot take from me. If one doesn’t recognize that in me, even when I’m responding to political or social ideas or events, then I’m at a loss as to how to even respond, so I won’t. I cannot loiter around the random and senseless incriminations of others. It’s a trap designed for debilitatation, and I’m free of it.

I’ve lobbed my religious and political views together here to make the point, really, that they are not mutually exclusive. I don’t vote a certain way because I’m a Christian (if that’s a label people are willing to pin on me), and if I’m voting contrary to the “moral majority” (whatever THAT is!) that doesn’t mean I’ve disassociated myself with the church. Believe me, I’ve done plenty of disassociating myself with the church before we ever get into the political arena. I mean, let’s prioritize, right? In fact, I always throw up in my mouth a little bit whenever people start intermingling their religious views with their political views at best, and I go screaming from the room in utter terror at worst. This can get really frightening, especially when it occurs on a macro-scale.

And I see it plainly: People who have planted their flags against any and all things discordant from the groupthink to which they adhere and will not BUDGE from the hills they’re so ready to die on. Too often, it’s a hill THEY call Calvary. Is that too bold? Did I just type that out loud? The mentality being, if one should “compromise” even an inch in his political stance, then he is diminished somehow in his faith—that, somehow, he has let down God or let down the church. Or might I suggest that the underlying current is simply fear? Fear of rejection from the church for having an opinion of your OWN is NOT small potatoes for most people. I know—I deal with it often enough. I’m not making these claims as an outsider trying to understand and look inside the stereotypical “christian” (lower-case “c” there!) mentality—I am VERY much on the inside of this subculture, and although I will be BLASTED by Christians for this, I’m telling you—I’m nailing it, folks. I am! No one can tell me this does not occur, because I’ve seen that it does. Repeatedly. And because I have such an aversion to this way of thinking, I can’t help but see that this is one contributing factor to the polarization that is, at this very moment, preventing us from moving forward in our endeavors to care for the citizens of this country.

WHICH, in my mind, is the irony of ironies.

I don’t know what it’s going to take for people to meet in the middle. Certainly, posts such as this will only validate those who already agree with me and piss off those dying on their hills, flags in hand—OR make them martyrs, loving the chance to pull that “persecution” card.

So. What to do? What to do?

I don’t know.

I think I will change the political status on my facebook page from simply “Democrat” to “AMERICAN who often votes democrat, but who recognizes that BOTH parties have valid points to make—neither party should be excluded or ridiculed or harassed or lied about—and encourages both parties to take turns actively listening to each other, paraphrasing what the other party is saying, validating that stance by seeking first to understand the other—THEN to be understood—PRESIDENT INCLUDED, and MOVING THIS COUNTRY FORWARD!”

Do you think all that will fit?

I doubt that will bring people on opposite ends any closer to the middle, but for what it’s worth…

For my conservative friends who love Jesus who are not dying on any hills or planting any flags, please know that when I speak of “christians” (lower-case “c” there!) as I have in this general sense, I am not singling out anyone in particular—at least not anyone who is still in my life. I’m not thinking of those in my inner circle of friends or family. Please don’t send me a message asking if you’ve done something to provoke this diatribe because the answer is no, my loved ones. You haven’t. I love you. If you can be reasoned with and have the capacity to see and understand the other side, I love you.

As for those precious souls that I have TOTALLY pissed off and whose knees are calloused because of the many hours of prayers that you have offered up on my behalf because I am in the evil clutches of Satan and the democrats, I have already deleted you.

I write. I vent. I post. Nothing more—nothing less.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Why I Don't Want a Dog

In deciding what to include and what to leave out of the book I'm writing, I found this piece that is outdated and won't make it in the final draft that I will submit to a publisher. I thought I'd share it here. I wrote this back in Vegas about Jenna, the dog we had there. If you recall, she wasn't my very, very favorite. It's funny to compare this with our Sofia, with whom I'm absolutely smitten. Anyway, just a little "toss-away" piece for ya'll.

Much affection,
Daisy Rain




“If you’d like to continue to call yourself a Christian woman, you should be nicer to that dog.”

This from my 89-year-old grandfather who hasn’t been to church in about 80 years.

I’m not mean to that damn dog. I mean, that dog. It’s not my fault she thinks her name is Getthehellawayfromme. It’s not like I’m serious when I tell her to go play in traffic. Most days. I don’t know why everybody gets their panties in a wad over my relationship with her, such that it is.

Everybody tells me she’s such a great dog. Oh yeah? Then why does she poop? Great entities don’t leave poop where I walk. And they don’t deliberately put saliva on my body. And, certainly, they don’t leave HALF of their body hair all over my house, regenerate all that they’ve lost overnight and leave the same amount on my carpet and my furniture the very next day. And the day after that. And the day after that. And the day after that.

“Look at those eyes!” her advocates implore me.

“She’s in love with my husband, and he’s in love with her. That’s what those eyes tell me,” I retort. Last New Year’s Eve, we were watching the celebratory countdown on television. “10! 9! 8! 7! 6! 5! 4! 3! 2! 1! HAPPY NEW YEAR!” When Old Lang Syne started to play, my husband got up from his Archie Bunker chair and kissed HER! I unpuckered my lips, shook my head in disbelief, and went to bed. Our first fight of the year.

You want a good pet? A turtle is a great pet! We got one to put in our pond out back, a wonderful habitat for a turtle. No barking, no shedding, no licking. And if that thing pooped, I certainly didn’t know about it. And would you like to know what happened in the first twenty-four hours we had dear, sweet Leonardo?

The dog ate him.

My husband flew to her defense. Of course he did. They’re in love. Why wouldn’t he? Damn dog.

She knows just how to make me look like an idiot. Whenever I am home alone with her, she doesn’t do a thing I say. I used to think she was just stupid. I told my husband, “I don’t think she’s very bright.”

“Are you kidding me? She’s one of the smartest dogs I’ve ever had!”

I remained silent as to the obvious plethora of possible replies and simply said, “Do you really think so?”

Just to prove a point, I called her over. “Getthehellawayfromme, come here.” She never came to me when I called. I wasn’t worried. Until she came straight to me and sat obediently in front of me, wagging her tail, that is. My husband folded his arms and raised a “this-is-going-to-be-interesting” eyebrow at me. Coincedence. The dog NEVER listened to me and NEVER did anything I told her to do.

“Sit.” I commanded.

The bitch sat.

“Lay down.”

The bitch laid down.

“Up!”

The bitch sprang up.

“Shake!”

The bitch put her paw right in my hand and, I swear to God, she smiled.

“Mommy does not love you,” I told her flatly and went to pour myself a glass of Reisling. Of course, her boyfriend--my husband--reached down to scratch her behind the ears and tell her affectionately, “Goooooood daaaaaaaaaaaaawg!”

Just to make sure I wasn’t crazy, I waited till the next time I was home alone with that damn dog. “Getthehellawayfromme, come here!”

The bitch sat right where she was.

OK, I thought. She can NOT do what I say from across the room where she is.

“Sit!”

Those eyes that most believe are sweet and innocent looked up at me to let me know that she was completely unaffected.

“Lay down!”

She didn’t budge.

I walked over to her and put my hand out. “Shake!”

She turned around, farted in my face, and walked away.

Then there was the time she locked me out of the house. I’m not lying. This is not hyperbole. We were home alone; I was sitting out back by the pond (post-turtle) writing something brilliant on this very laptop. I looked behind me. She was standing inside looking out our sliding glass door. She wanted to be outside just to annoy me in her usual form.

“I don’t THINK so, sista!” No way was she getting out there with me. I no more turned around smugly in my lounge chair than I heard the CLICK! We have a button on the bottom of our sliding glass door which is an extra security measure. When it’s pushed in, the door will not open. Period. Of course, she took her nose and pushed it in. I about broke my neck swinging around in that chair.

“You did NOT just do that!” I yelled.

She smiled back at me through the glass.

I jumped up out of my chair and tried the door. Locked out. I knew the front door was locked. I always locked up when I was home by myself. God knows if anybody broke in, Getthehellawayfromme would lead them straight for the good stuff. Well, my stuff anyway. My husband--her boyfriend’s stuff would be safe. She’d never let anybody get HIS stuff! I had to fold up my laptop and haul it over to the neighbors across the street to get one of our spare keys.

Damn dog.

Someone suggested we get another dog to keep her company. She needed a friend. There was NO WAY ON GOD’S GOOD GREEN EARTH I was getting anything else that pooped as much, shed as much, or licked as much. Just one more being in the house to torment me. Forget about it! But the suggestion of a distraction was not lost on me. I brought home a kitten. A boy kitty. I wanted to name him Madonna, but ended up naming him Lofton--my family name. It suited him.

Getthehellawayfromme didn’t know what to think about this new addition to our family. I know she thought I’d brought her lunch. When she figured out she probably didn’t want to eat him, she made him her own. And it did alleviate her always being underneath my feet. It did my heart good to see Lofton stalking her, perched like a hunter on the stairs, waiting for Getthehellawayfromme to walk by. I loved how he pounced on her head and clung by all four sets of claws while she hobbled like a drunk trying to shake him off.

Gooooooooooooood kitty.

She knows I’m writing about her. She’s lying down by the couch looking at me with those big, brown eyes. Right now. Those big, brown eyes. Big. Brown. I’m not going to look at her. She’ll just come over here and try to put her saliva on my body.

Now she’s sighing. Crap, I looked. Here she comes. She’s nudging the laptop off my lap so she can put her head on my lap. With those eyes. Big. Brown. Eyes.

Oh, hell. Jenna does like her ears scratched.

Guess I’m done writing this...