This morning I stood in line for about 4 hours with approximately 1000 women. There were men there – maybe 100 or so – the rest were women. Women of all sizes and shapes and color and religion and status and age – we all stood, without complaining, waiting our turn to meet Hillary Clinton.
There are some moments in our lives that define us – for me – this was one of them. I’m 61 years old and I finally understood why there are men who don’t particularly want women to be united. I finally understood why men didn’t want women to have the vote and why there are men still don’t want a woman to have any voice when it comes to our own bodies.
It’s because – Women who are united – on anything – are strong and powerful and know in their hearts they can facilitate change.
This is why men want to keep women down. This is why they hit them and alienate them and keep them “barefoot and pregnant.” Not all men – but some men – they just don’t want women to have any power or know that they could even have the chance at any power or self-respect.
I’m not bashing men. I know there is this belief that lesbians hate men – trust me when I tell you – that’s not the case. I enjoy the company of men – well – most men. I have men in my life whom I simply adore. I find them sweet and funny and they value the women in their lives.
But – I also have men in my life who absolutely do not value women – any women. Women who have strong opinions – women who are smart – women who have power, they especially don’t like them, and I find these men hard to understand and hard to have any sort of relationship with. Go figure…
The thing I noticed most in my 4 hours of bonding was that we all wanted the same thing – freedom and peace. We all agreed we were are tired of war and death and yes – guns…
Is that a liberal thing – the not wanting guns? I honestly don’t know – but I know that the women with whom I had the pleasure of spending time with this morning are sick of the guns being worn over shoulders and on belts while we’re being told it’s for our own protection. We all admitted that we thought twice about coming to this book signing for fear that someone with said gun slung over their shoulder would come and take a whack at we crazy liberals wanting to see Hillary; the Benghazi killer! We also all agreed that if we had stayed home – the gun-slingers would have won, and that wasn’t going to happen – not on our watch. So there we were.
We talked – as women do – about other women. We wondered why any women would vote against their own best interest – and why women just can’t seem to find the strength to stand up for one another. Some of the questions we asked one another were:
Why would a woman vote for a man who wants to control where you can get birth control? And how do we help her see that this is her right as a human being to be in control of her own body? How do we educate women? How can we help one another? How do we unite and how do we learn how to treat one another with respect? It starts with each one of us – respecting one another enough to leave the men out of the equation. Women need to respect and care for one another – period.
These women made me understand that perhaps television shows such as The Housewives of OC and NYC and NJ and anywhere else – were to blame for how we see each other as women. My partner Susan, has told me this for years, and now – finally – I get it. These women certainly do not treat one another with any respect – and I get that I shouldn’t find it entertaining – I should be offended. Scripted or not – these women are not what we should aspire to be and certainly not an example for our daughters, granddaughters, nieces, or any of the women in our lives. The 80-something woman who asked me just what it was I got from those shows was quite pleased with herself when I had nothing to give her as an answer. And when she asked me why I watched – again – I had nothing – and again – she looked at me with raised eyebrows – I knew she was thinking: “Well then – why are you watching?”
What I also got was the thing that united us this morning was Hillary Clinton. We all had our own reasons for being there – but in the end – it was all about Hillary. Maybe we all see ourselves in her in one way or another; Perhaps we’ve been betrayed by a man that we love, or betrayed by a woman we thought was a friend with the man that we love, or maybe we are ridiculed by the men in our lives for trying to be strong and independent thinkers, maybe it’s waiting for the birth of your first grandchild – and maybe – just maybe – we simply aspire to make the world a better place by living our best life. A life of service – a life of choice, a life of caring for one another. Perhaps these things are some of what we see in Hillary Clinton.
So – Thank you Hillary – for leading the way – for showing women what we can be – what we should be – what we will be. And thank you to all the strong, loving, caring, powerful women who shared those 4 hours in line with me on Girard Ave in La Jolla, CA this morning. It was inspirational – to say the least…
Posted in love, beliefs, La Jolla, California, elections, home, family, life, friends, Moral issues, gay, Celebrity, human rights, Women, Women's Rights, Lesbian, Children, Violence, Courage, Kindness, betrayal | Tagged friends, society, politics, women, gay, human-rights, respect, La Jolla, Hillary Clinton, book signing, Warwicks, HIllary | 2 Comments »
Lots of “stuff” running through my mind this morning – you know what I’m talking about… Nothing in particular, just a whole bunch of jumbled up thoughts that didn’t seem to have comas separating them.
I decided to take myself to my favorite spot by the Pacific Ocean in La Jolla to just clear my head, and place some comas in the thoughts that were running amok in my head.
On the drive over to La Jolla, I was listening to my Frank Sinatra station and there was Peggy Lee singing: ♫ “Is that all there is, Is that all there is? If that’s all there is my friend, then let’s keep dancing – let’s break out the booze and have a ball, if that’s all there is…” ♫
Of course my mind went there… Now, Theresa Caputo – The Long Island Medium – tells me every week on her show that this most certainly is not all there is, and the noises and voices that happen in my house tell me that this most certainly is not all there is, and my Christian upbringing tells me that this is most certainly not all there is – but still – my mind went there as I was singing along with Peggy Lee.
What is this really is all there is. What then? What have I done with my life?
Once I had parked the car, my camera and I went for a long walk. We saw birds and flowers and seals. We listened to the ocean and seagulls and the wind as it hit me in the face. I put my camera in the car – grabbed my lawn chair – and I sat on one of the cliffs by the water, and I simply listened to what the Universe was telling me.
I’m going to be 62 years old this year. I haven’t always lived a life that was good and honest, and I haven’t always been the best person I could have been. When I look at my life now and know that I have more years behind me than I do in front of me, I think about things in an entirely different way.
What’s done is done. I can’t change anything, and honestly, I’m not sure that I would. Every decision I made, every mistake I made, every turn in the road – it’s brought me to where I am right now and made me the person I am right now.
And right now – I’m a happy girl. I have the love of a wonderful woman who makes me happier than I ever imagined I could or would be. I have friends that love me unconditionally and make me feel special, cherished and cared for. My brother and I have contact with one another – it’s not constant – but you know what – it’s contact – and I’ll take that over no contact at all. My ex-husband and I are friends – as we have always been. My biological family who disowned me – well – they still disown me – and that’s okay. It’s okay because my family, the biological ones who have stood by me, and my friends who surround me, they love me big time!
I try to live a life now that is filled with love, peace, joy and happiness. I try and be there for my family and friends, and I try to make things as easy as possible. I don’t like drama – I don’t like conflict. I love my friends, my family, and my Susan more than they could ever know.
So Peggy Lee – If this is all there is – I’ll consider myself lucky and blessed to have had so very much…
Posted in beliefs, California, Courage, death, Divorce, faith, family, friends, gay, gift, going home, home, human rights, Kindness, La Jolla, life, love, ocean, San Diego | Tagged death, forgiveness, happiness, Is that all there is, La Jolla, Life, Love, ocean, Peggy Lee | 1 Comment »
For her Birthday my friend Ann asked that we spend some time loving someone who is difficult for us to love. She said we didn’t have to forgive or hang out with them – she just wanted us to think loving thoughts and humanize someone we dislike for whatever reason. She ended her request by saying: “Nothing would make me happier than imagining a bunch of you spending even 5 minutes focusing real love, compassion and understanding on an enemy.”
Somehow I believe it would have been easier to just send her flowers!
However, I respect this friend so very much so I decided to focus my energies on someone who betrayed my trust over 20 years ago. Someone I believed was a friend – someone I loved as a sister – someone I trusted with the deepest secret I had.
In a moment of bearing my soul – I told this friend I was gay. I told her how I have struggled to live a “normal” life but I wasn’t happy. I told her I had always known I was gay but also knew that I could never talk with my family – well because where I come from – being gay is simply not done. I told her that as much as I cared about my husband – I just couldn’t love him. Certainly not the way he deserved to be loved – I was trying – I just couldn’t do it. I was struggling on what to do – and how to do it.
My “friend” decided that her loyalties were really with my husband – and she told him everything I had told her. She outed me to my husband – my father – my little community where I grew up.
My life exploded – and I ran away. From my husband – from my hometown – from my family – from my friend. I’ve never seen or spoken to her since the explosion.
It wasn’t her place – It wasn’t her life – It wasn’t her secret…
Life didn’t end – but for a long time it was hard and hurtful as many people who I thought loved me – apparently didn’t love the gay Barb – they wanted me to be who they wanted me to be and anything other than that person wasn’t welcome in their world.
I have heard through the hometown grapevine that this person’s life the past 20 some years hasn’t been easy. Her husband divorced her and she’s had to start over. Every time I heard something bad about her life – I thought that she deserved everything bad that has come her way.
I thought that way until Saturday when I was sitting silent and thinking of her. In was in those moments of quiet clarity that I understood that this person did betray me in the worst way – but in another way – her betrayal was a gift. For all the running that I did lead me to where I am at this very moment in time. It lead me to this complete happiness – to this life I only dreamed existed.
So – I thought of her with kindness and released my anger and felt gratitude for this life I have – for the friends that I have – for the love which surrounds me and fills my life.
In my moments of quiet clarity, I also thanked my friend for wanting us all to find some peace and love on her Birthday. In my mind I sang Happy Birthday to her and was happy I could give her what she asked for. It was a gift for her – but really – it was more of a gift for myself. Happy Birthday, Annie – and Thank You. ♥
Posted in beliefs, betrayal, Change, Courage, faith, family, friends, gay, gift, going home, home, Hometown, homophobia, human rights, Lesbian, life, love, Women | Tagged betrayal, Birthday Gift, divorce, friends, gay, Life, Love | 8 Comments »