Why I never!
No one is asking you to.
Literally, no one.
You don't have to watch. You don't have to come to the wedding. You don't even have to come to dinner.
But, you do have to respect people's rights. Because in the end, how does what two people do alone in their bedroom have to do with whether they deserve basic rights?
And when all people have basic rights, to work, to not be harassed, to build a legally solid marriage and family, to participate in the economy, society is more stable and we all benefit from that.
“And the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air…”
We’re so lucky to live in the greatest country on Earth! They hate us because we’re FREE!
The United States of America was built as a land of opportunity where all men are created equal! Anyone can be successful here, if they try!
Gee, how lucky are we to be on this land, that are forefathers wrested from savages so we could be the greatest nation ever created, that protects the rest of the world from bullies and always fights for what’s right?
There were nations here before the Europeans, with trade, technology, religion and education? A complex of thriving people who were brutally murdered and betrayed? And then more people were dragged over here to work as prisoners, enslaving them for centuries to feed the hunger of this new baby nation?
Statistics say that our maternal morbidity rate is higher than…Cuba? And 45 other countries? Well, how can that be? And more of our children live in poverty? What’s going on here? And thousands of Americans lose their homes due to medical bankruptcy every year, something that’s unheard of in dozens of countries with socialized medicine.
Wait – we’ve been interfering in other nation’s politics for our own benefit and not the moral justness of it? That’s not what they taught us in junior high. And corporations lead these initiatives and then people in those other countries, the countries with resources we want – they suffer and die?
And politicians have to raise millions of dollars to keep their jobs so even if they started out for principled reasons, their careers are dependent on catering to wealthy special interest lobbying groups? How is that a government looking out for the public’s best interest?
But we can certainly elect our representatives fairly right? One person, one vote! Well, whoever makes the maps decides the electorate. And this whole country is gerrymandered into torn scraps of dishonesty.
“All men are created equal” – unless they’re gay, in which case, the government has some concerns. Or if they’re new to this country, and then you’ve got years of papers to process if they’re let in at all. Or if they’re a person of color – we don’t even need to clarify this one because – bang! And don’t even get us started on women!
The United States of America. You glorious lie of a country. We were taught to love you, worship you even, with our little hands over our hearts each morning in school. But we never knew you and now that we do, how do we even begin to repair and cherish what a duplicitous mess you are?
“I always said, my Granny sure conjured a special angel for me, to be so blessed!” the woman next to me crowed at the bus stop.
“Yep, I’ve lived right here in this town my whole life, had a darn good job at the Stop-n-Shop since I was fifteen and never a thing to complain about. My Granny, she was a kinda witch, ya know, and she said she made sure I was watched over every day by a special spirit! Yep, not so much as a broken bone or even a stubbed toe. ‘Course I never got my heart broke or nothin’. Guess I’m pretty lucky.”
The light caught her greying hair and glinted in her soft eyes, staring off into the twilight blandly. She had a plain bag cradled in her lap, sensible sneakers and jeans in the style they sold at the nearest chain store. Her face did lack the care lines you’d expect to see in someone her age. And if she wasn’t quick to smile, well, who was these days?
She was keen to follow this line of conversation and I thought she was a rare creature and wanted to figure her out a little better.
I asked what she liked about the old hometown that kept her here.
“Oh? Well, I’ve got this job, see? So, I guess I just don’t need to wander around the world. I mean, I been up north to the city for a day trip but this is just fine. Yep, nothing to complain about.”
“So, what do you do for fun? Not a lot of options in a town like this.”
“Oh, I’m lucky. Granny left me her house and I’ve got a big ol’ porch to sit on and watch the traffic. That don’t cost nothin’!” she chuckled.
“Must be that angel, huh?” I asked, “making your life so good, that is.”
“Oh yes!” she eagerly replied. “Not a care in the world.”
"Pretty sunset," I said.
"Oh, is it?" she replied. "Seems like any other to me."
Thirty years earlier:
“Goddamn it Jenny if you go off and marry that damn boy I will curse you! And I’ll curse your firstborn with a demon of mediocrity!”