Archive for the ‘Women’ Category

Who doesn’t like to sit down and read a good thriller?

Sometimes you wonder where on earth the authors find their source of inspiration for a plot. And yet, sometimes you don’t have to wonder at all.

Just read the newspaper. Or listen to the radio.

Many wonderful books have been written on subjects gleaned from the daily rag. Or from the wireless.

Don’t have to be a genius to know that.

For instance, take John Grisham’s legal thriller, “The Associate.”

His plot was partly based on a rape case that took place on a university campus in the 1980s.

Many of you have probably heard about the case because it was a bit unusual.

The victim, in real life, was a young and innocent seventeen year old. Top of her high school class, from a NYC suburb and the first in her family to attend college. She was drugged and gang raped by frat boys at her first campus party about five weeks after leaving home. A party she did not want to attend but a dorm mate was interested in joining the fraternity. He was not openly gay at the time and needed a date. Or a beard as they say.

This woman’s mother is a first cousin of my Dad’s first cousins. I don’t know her and never would have met her. Two different families.

So this young girl, wakes up after the night of raping, and finds she is covered in bruises and bloody sheets. Goes to the university clinic. Can’t help her. Sees the university officials. Won’t help her. Said not a police matter but a school matter. But offer to transfer her. One of the assailants said it was consensual but he soon transferred out of the school.

I stated that the case was a bit unusual. Back then drugging might not have been commonplace. I don’t know enough about that to really comment. But what was unusual was what happened many years later.

Twenty years later she receives a letter. From the rapist. Wanting to make amends. Wants forgiveness. He is in an Alcoholics Anonymous program and is working one of his steps. He admits that he caused her great harm.

Whoa.

She goes to the police. This man knows where she lives. She finds out later that the university alumni office gave him her current address.

They told her that a case like that would have always been under their jurisdiction and not the university’s.

The police reopen the investigation. The man is sentenced to ten years in prison. Served a full six months. It was also revealed that she was, in fact, gang raped but there wasn’t enough evidence to bring the other rapists to justice.

Whoa.

This is not a story you read every day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Was visiting my Mom this summer.

One day, after her shower, she says to me, “Gosh, as short as my hair is I just hate to dry it.”

I replied, “Me, too. I don’t think anyone likes to dry their hair.”

She laughed and said, “I thought it was just me.”

Nope.

Had same conversation with my husband when passing by “Drybar” a week later.

He said, “Good for her!”

Meaning the woman who started this booming business.

No cuts. No color. Just blowouts. They are in the business of drying hair. Yes, drying hair.

She’s making beaucoup bucks.

I said, “No one likes to dry their hair.”

He replied, “Wished I had known that.”

As in “Maybe he would have started that business before her??”

I remember laughing with my friend in California about the “missed opportunity” that can present itself when you use a towel.

I never dry my hair right away. Goes up into a big, white towel. And it could stay there. Minutes, hours and maybe even days.

Seriously though. When you have your hair up in a towel it’s like a clock (or bomb) ticking. If you leave it too long? Missed your opportunity! Have to start process all over again. Wet and wrap up in a towel once more!

Good for that lady. The Drybar dame. She didn’t miss her opportunity. She actually seized it!

There are always opportunities out there.

 

 

 

 

 

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Some years ago my husband and I were invited to a bookclub dinner with two other couples in California. The wife of one of my husband’s employees came up with the idea and thought it would be fun.

I was used to my Dallas bookclub that was comprised of a half dozen, wine-guzzling, loquacious females.

My friend, Karla (Dallas book club) told me that her husband said, “What kind of granola is Mary eating out there in California?” After he found out it was for couples.

Or something to that effect. Equivalent of “What’s Mary smoking out there?”

The book was “The Last Lecture” written by the late Randy Pausch.

I recommend it. Or at least watch his video. Inspiration from a man who knew that he wasn’t going to be around too much longer.

Hubby didn’t finish the book but I shared the finer points with him during the car ride.

It was a good book. Focused on the important things in life and unrealized dreams.

Had dinner and wine.

So far, so good.

Then the woman puts a pot on the table and asks that we all write down our own unrealized dream on a slip of paper. Without our names.

The six of us complied.

Then she pulled out each one and read them. We had to guess who wrote each one.

So far, so good.

First one was “I always wanted to be a veterinarian but didn’t get accepted into the program.”

Uh oh!

A little guesswork determined this was from the hostess who was currently working as a pediatrician.

Who knew medical school was easier to get into than a veterinary program?

Next was, “I wanted to be an airplane pilot but couldn’t due to an eye injury.”

That was from my husband who was a CEO at the time.

Geez. I was starting to sweat. Maybe I didn’t put too much thought into mine!

Can’t remember the others. But I’ll never forget mine.

“I always wanted to learn how to whistle.”

A lofty goal from a lofty girl.

Well, that certainly lightened the mood although that was not my intention.

I realized (after I mentally berated myself for such a simple answer) that I was the only one who had written down a goal that I could actually still achieve. If I pursued it.

No, I still haven’t learned how to whistle.

But I will devote some time to it. Right after I devote the time to training my overly enthusiastic, five year old Jack Russell named Thumper. LOL.

Hadn’t even thought of whistling for a couple of years. But discussion was prompted at a family gathering a few weeks ago when someone mentioned meeting the best whistler in Ireland.

Led to some chatting in the room. Who can whistle?

My father’s side? Apparently not so much.

But my mother’s side is a different story. My grandfather was always whistling. And his kids could whistle.

Got me thinking about it all over again. 🙂

 

Have a wonderful week while you are thinking about what you would write on that scrap of paper.

Big or small.

Then go and make it happen!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Well, it looks like the new president of the Philippines will be Duterte.

Of course, the U.S. will be cautious. There are concerns about his foreign policy.

I am concerned that he was actually elected in the first place.

Because my first thought was,”If he could be elected then is there also the possibility that Trump could be the next U.S. president?

Duterte is appealing to the people who want and need to see change.

Playing on people’s fears and taking the tough guy stance.

He has promised to dump the corpses of 100,000 gangsters into the Bay. Some talk of vigilante killings.

People seemed to really like this type of talk. Dirty Harry is his nickname.

Nothing like referencing an old American vigilante film to get people’s juices flowing.

He has also called the Pope the son of a whore.

This current Pope. The one most people like!

I sort of chuckled when I read an article saying he was going to the Vatican to apologize.

I thought, “Well, he (Pope) is probably the only person in the world that would forgive him for talking ’bout someone’s Mama.”

Because I certainly wouldn’t.

But the reason I am really concerned about him is that he says anything he wants and the response seems to fuel him. The crazies keep him going and his crazy lets them.

Just like Mr. Trump.

In 1989, Jacqueline Hamill, a thirty-six year old Australian missionary, was working in a Filipino jail.

Ms. Hamill was taken hostage (along with fifteen others) then brutally gang raped by the prisoners. And murdered.

Horrific.

Duterte’s remarks on his campaign trail about this could make anyone shiver.

According to Filthy, I mean, Dirty, his comments were said out of anger and not meant as a joke.

Although if you listen to it on “youtube” the audience’s response was filled with laughs, chuckles and whoo-hees. And he didn’t look angry.

This is what he recounted about the hostage situation when he was the mayor. 

All the women were raped so during the first assault, because they retreated, the bodies they used as a cover, one of them was the corpse of the Australian woman lay minister. Tsk, this is a problem. When the bodies were brought out, they were wrapped. I looked at her face, son of a bitch, she looks like a beautiful American actress. Son of a bitch, what a waste. What came to mind was, they raped her, they lined up. I was angry because she was raped, that’s one thing. But she was so beautiful, the mayor should have been first. What a waste.

This is their new president. He should have been first.

Here  he is not willing to apologize.

What???????????????????

Then there was this guy back in 2013 vying for a Supreme Court position in Indonesia.

You do not get to joke about rape and victims liking it. NEVER! About a woman being violated in the worst possible, disgusting manner. This is unacceptable.

Maybe makes Donald Trump pale in comparison. 

But. Still.

Mr. Trump has said his fair share of nasty things against women.

Just google “Trump” along with “Sexist Comments” and you’ll get a mother lode of information.

Here’s one link.

Here’s another.

One more….

And the worst. “If I weren’t happily married and she wasn’t my daughter…”

There is absolutely no place for a man like this in the role of a U.S. president.

Sorry.

Not really.

Any woman, daughter, mother, niece, aunt, sister or grandmother will tell you that.

You do not have the right to govern a country filled with women.

And in case you’ve forgotten?

Women do have the right to vote and there is not a sane woman out there that would vote for you.

Because we are not just a sorry piece of A$$ or a sorry piece of S%&T.

No matter what you think.

Sorry.

Not really.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Yesterday’s blog posting was about how I needed my mother’s comfort and she so readily provided it.

And I also said I don’t know why I cried. That’s not entirely true.

Most likely a couple of things.

Yes, hormones might have had something to do with it.

It’s not that I am unemotional. I just wasn’t a big crier back then or held hostage by hormones. At least, not before childbirth.

Hormones might have had some play in it but might not have been the only reason.

We were leaving the hospital with our brand new baby girl.

My husband, happy as a lark, was saying goodbye to all the nurses and thanking them.

He was holding sweet little Norah in his arms. I was beside him walking at a gingerly pace.

I was also thanking the nurses and saying goodbye.

An older nurse came up to us just as we were about to get on the elevator and said, “Why isn’t she holding the baby?”

My husband, taken aback, looked at her with surprise and replied, “She just had a C-Section.”

The nurse said, “So what? I had five of them.”

He said, “So what? That’s you.”

We stepped on the elevator.

I felt awful. Like I committed an unspeakable crime. Like I was a terrible mother already. And my eyes filled up with tears.

My husband was like, “Oh, Mary, please don’t let her bother you at all.”

Another reason I knew he was a keeper. 🙂 Not only was he protective of me but this would also extend to any children we would have together.

But back to Mom.

I suppose I knew that day when I saw my mother waiting for us that there was one woman in the world who could always make it better.

That’s why I cried.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Lists

 

Thank you so much for the feedback. I will continue with this blog. I’m in the process of resubscribing so I can keep my domain, “Just Being Mary.” Wouldn’t want that cool moniker to fall into the hands of just anyone.

Back to writing…..

I have a friend who is super organized. Like on steroids!

She makes lists, groups, labels and more.

Let’s just say if she ever goes on the lam it would be child’s play for Interpol to track her. The digital and paper trail she leaves behind would be akin to a daily diary placed gently at their feet.

Her freezer is a sight to behold. All perfectly aligned plastic boxes labeled (with black marker), stacked and ready to be pulled out for dinner at a moment’s notice. I have opened it to show others on more than one occasion. Sort of like show and tell. I usually preface opening the freezer door with a drumroll and “You’ve just got to see this!”

She most likely will be moving in the summer. 😦 My friend is sort of an institution around these parts and will be sorely missed.

Anyway, as a result of the pending move there are more lists in the making. Things that need to be done here. Mostly because it’s less expensive than a lot of other countries at the moment.

I am totally on board with that. And I am taking a page out of her book. I am not moving (that I know of) but I think it’s a real eye opener. Things can and do happen really fast.

It’s a good idea to get things done NOW. So I will accompany her on some of the outings. Nesting tables that have needed new varnish (for about fifteen years), ink drawings that need new frames (for about three months), clothes that need hemming and/or alterations (like forever) and many others will be on my list.

I am making the list. Now. Then I am going to work on it.

And so should you.

 

 

 

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Last November, I was on a phone call with my mother.

We were always in email contact- but I always made regular phone calls since the old man wasn’t “on email” or on “the machine.”

Usually I  spoke with Mom first and then she would let Dad know I was on the line. As if if he didn’t already know.

Always preempting it with, “Pat, pick up! It’s your favorite daughter!”

This call was different. There was something in her voice.

I immediately asked, “What’s wrong?  Are my brothers ok? Is it Dad?”

She said,”No, it’s me. I have breast cancer.”

Okay.

My Mom.

She proceeded to tell me the details and sounded very positive.

I was able to relay something I heard at an American Fundraiser here in Kuala Lumpur the previous month, “There are more women living with breast cancer than dying from it.”

I’m glad I had this in my grab bag because I am not sure how I would have handled it.

It’s my mom.

Do you know how excruciating it is to be so far away?

Dad gets on the phone.

I said, “Mom shared with me.”

He says, “I didn’t want her to tell you kids. I didn’t wan’t you to worry.”

I said, “Dad, I get that. But what if she needed a woman to talk to about it? Someone besides you??”

There was a sigh on the other end of the line. He hadn’t considered that.

Glad I shocked him into that.

I get that. I’m the same. We all want to protect our kids. We don’t want them to worry. Ever.

But that’s not always fair.

The funny thing is that my mother is probably the first person I would call if I was sick or needed help. Maybe I am just a baby and selfish. Or maybe that’s how it goes.

Our lives would soon change. Not due to Mom’s breast cancer and then a lung cancer diagnosis three months later. But because my Dad faded away in the midst of it all.

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