Mary Beth Writes

Regarding that Debate. 

I’ve been at a zoo when a cranky monkey starts throwing poop. That remembrance came to me last night. Watching Uncle Joe try to answer questions while Trump trash talked everybody and everything except white supremacists – that was damn ugly.

Remember; Biden overcame a childhood stutter. I know part of that training is for the person to take deliberate breaths, calm themselves, think about what they want to say and how they will say it. That Biden could do that last night says powerful things about his character. I think the worst Biden did was call Trump a clown. Which is up from what many of are calling Trump.

Trump’s character was there for all to see with his “Tantrum as Political Strategy” learned from Roy Cohn. “Cohn tutored Trump in the methods of transactional power laundering…” Which means if you aren’t getting what you want, accuse the other person of anything dirty and scurrilous, do it loudly and repeatedly, and while they are defending themselves take what you want. (Read more about Cohn here.) 

But here’s the thing I really want to say.

For many of us, especially women, especially baby-boomers, last night was a trigger.

We grew up when it was fine for men to have tantrums because - they had stressful jobs; you know? Women’s job was to soothe and accommodate. If we couldn’t do that, then it was up to us to leave the room or the conference table or the arena. Hopefully before they hit us or our siblings or our kids.

I have specific memories of my dad, my brother, some men in churches I attended, some male teachers - yelling at others or sometimes yelling at me. I was never hit, and my memories are less toxic than other people’s memories, but I’m not in a mood to downplay my own lived experience.

I grew up assuming that to be hyper-vigilant about men and their moods was the signature of a fully-fledged woman. Damn that.

It is no coincidence that the woman Trump and Senate Republicans are aiming to jam into the Supreme Court DOES live in a world when men’s moods are women’s burdens to manage. That’s BS.

I don’t know how powerfully I can say this, but no one should need to leave the room because of someone else’s rage and power. Last night, in honor of the always-anxious kid I once was, I stayed to the end. So did Len. If you turned off the debates because it was so awful, fine.

I want to remind us today that we shouldn’t have needed to walk away when we kids, or when we were young partners in new relationships. We do not have to apologize now for turning off the TV or staying with it to the end.

Trumps’ behavior last night was toxic crap. It is not our job to understand him or to apologize for our feelings about him. We are in trigger territory when a person - any person including the president - is sputtering threatening, illogical, verbal bile that makes us feel anxious or scared or assaulted.

Our only job is to vote and do what we reasonably can to encourage and support others to vote.   

I decided to remind us of this. We have a month left and then whatever craziness happens after the election as votes are tallied. Hang on to your hats, your heart, your self-esteem, your sense of humor, and to hope. 

That was crazy. You are not crazy.

 

 

 

Comments

That was no debate. The moderator should have manned up and shut it down. I lasted an hour. The orange faced mass Murderer really gets on my last nerve and my first nerve. I have no respect for him...everything is I, I, I except when it involves taking responsibility for screw-ups and he has had many. He does have a punchable face and the lips of a petulant girl.
Mary Beth's picture

And yet, that seems to be what so many want. Someone to be the front brat, I guess. There's leadership, for you.

Never in my 81 years have I ever seen something so disgusting and childish from a president of the USA. Pathetic and scary!!!!
Mary Beth's picture

Yup.

Thank-you for this entry. It helped put words to some of my feelings about that sorry excuse for a debate!

I didn’t watch. Feeling outraged all the time throws me off my center and I’m just really tired of that. Whenever I get a little anxious lately I just send a little more money to Biden or the senate races and do a small task to improve my life or someone’s life near me.
Mary Beth's picture

Isn't it CRAZY that we have done so much thinking and clarifying in our lives and our relationships to make them kinder, clearer, less cluttered, less distracted, less angry. Did all that, and now POLITICS is triggering us back into hunkered down survival strategies? It's nuts.

Perhaps the people who support this kind of chaos haven’t had any experience to help them understand that life doesn’t have to be like this.
Mary Beth's picture

I'm sure they haven't, but they have the resources - books, conversations, good insurance, $ in the bank, flexible schedules, people who care about them - all that and yet they choose what's dark and narrow. To choose that when one lives among choices, that is its own kind of evil.

It’s true. It’s not an excuse for the guys using their power for harm.

First, thank you for giving words to my own jumbled thoughts about this. Second, thanks for reminding me it can be honorable to stay in the room. Or not. Just thanks.
Mary Beth's picture

So many of us have "Been there, have that T-shirt."

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WHITE CAKE!

The picture is our wedding cake, made by my friend Karen, who drove it from Indiana to Chicago on the hottest day of that year. It was in the back seat so their two little boys had to ride in front (remember when kids could ride in front?). They got lost in the city but I didn't know that for years because Karen and her husband start early and had time to get lost and then figure it out. Sometimes wedded bliss is a lot of work. 

The following story and recipe is not about the wedding cake, but it is the photo I have...

...

6/30/2022

How Do We Remember What We Remember?

6/30/2022

The Jan 6 Hearings, huh? This is an amazing moment in US history and I’m trying to understand our incredibly intense response. Four of 10 voters have watched at least some of the hearings, which is 20,000,000 people. It’s not just me that can’t look away.

Our Terrible Canoe Adventure

The eagle photo was taken by Len - but not on this trip! 

6/23/2022

We are fine but I have a tale to tell.

American Successes / American Failures

Did you ever have to tell the truth when it was hard? Did you ever lie to avoid a hard situation?  Did you ever know a hard, wrong thing but you told no one because it was going to be complicated and some people wouldn’t believe you and you might end up disrespected or worse for “telling on” someone else?

Most people work hard at learning truth-telling when they are 4 and 5-years old.

Molecule Moving

6/8/2022     

I didn’t know a Panoply of Dental Moments was coming my way this week, but such is life with teeth. One can brush, floss, slosh, and swish - but if one’s teeth want to crumble, they do. Yesterday I had my six-month cleaning. The hygienist said several times that I brush and floss beautifully. I was proud and thinking maybe I would give myself a “well-done” sticker when I got home. Then the dentist came in to do the check-up and said two fillings had cracks around them and needed to be replaced.

Rough Stories, Tough Week

6/1/2022 

Last Friday evening on PBS Tonight David Brooks said something like this. “I am afraid for all of us. The news just pummels us.”

There are as many tough stories as there are fingers on a closed fist. The shooting in Uvalde. The shooting in Buffalo. The corrupt power of the NRA and other obscene wealth-mongers that are destroying our society from the inside of elected reps’ pockets outwards. Ukraine. Global climate mayhem. Oh, and covid is everywhere. Less traumatic for most; long covid for some. So that’s six fingers on that pugilistic fist.

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