Sunday, April 24, 2016

To Pee or Not to Pee: That is the Question.

Ah, yes.  The great Target debate.

This was one of those things I didn't even realize was an issue until others made it one on social media.  I have seen several posts from people saying that they will now ban Target because of their new policies on allowing transgender people use the appropriate bathroom.

Yes.  The appropriate bathroom.

And to them I say, go ahead.  As a person who can't go more than a week without going into a Target, I think you're going to miss Target a helluva lot more than they're going to miss you.

Rather than stew on this issue on my own, I decided to ask my children what they thought.  After all, most of the complaints I've heard are on behalf of children - that kids are no longer safe going to the bathroom because of this new policy.

I feel like my kids are at a pretty good ages to give insightful opinions about this issue.  The "transgender" topic has been hot for a while, mainly because we, the older generation, have made it this way.

Because, really, for our's kind of a non-issue.

So, I asked my kids who are 14 (girl), 12 (boy), and 10 (girl) how they feel about transgender people using whatever bathroom and here was pretty much how the conversation went:

14-year-old:  "I don't get what the problem is.  I have transgender friends and I've never heard of this being an issue."

12-year-old: "It's fine with me."

10-year-old:  "I don't get what the problem is."

After thinking about it, we decided that probably any transgender male will probably use the unisex bathroom anyway - what fool would choose the men's bathroom over that?  And the truth is that NO ONE is talking about how worried they are that a person born as a female will go into a men's bathroom and molest our sons - it's all about the transgender female going into the women's bathroom that has everyone up in arms.

Regarding the comment from my 14-year-old daughter, she has never once mentioned to me that she has transgender friends.  Want to know why?  Because it's not news to her.  It wasn't worth telling me because there's nothing unusual about it.  

Which ties into my 10-year-old's disinterest in the topic.

For the people who are concerned about bringing their kids into the bathroom or sending them in there on their own because they might encounter a transgender person who might molest them...I think you should just stop visiting bathrooms altogether because that is a risk no matter where you are or who you think is in there.

Do you really think that pedophiles have been waiting for us to make it LEGAL to go into the opposite sex's bathroom in order to molest a child?

Do you really think that all pedophiles are male?

Do you really think that all pedophiles prey on children of the opposite gender, making bathrooms 100% safe for your child up until this point? 

And to the suggestion, "Why don't they just use the unisex bathroom?" I say GREAT IDEA.  Maybe whites should only use a certain bathroom and blacks should use their own.

Anyone else see a parallel there?

I will also say to you that there is a pretty good chance that you've peed next to a transgender person at some point in your life and didn't even know it.

Thank God you made it out alive.

For those who are banning Target because of this new bathroom policy, I want you to take a look at all of the pictures out there of small children of various races playing together that say something to the effect of "they don't know they're different from each other until we tell them they are."

And then I'd like for you to tell me how this is any different.

We are raising a generation (I hope) that doesn't even think this is an issue until you make it one.  So, please, when you're out with your 8-year-old daughter and you see a transgender female walk by, think before you speak and plant the idea in her head that they're "wrong" or "weird" or, heaven forbid, "dangerous" just because that's your opinion.

Because chances are she's going to get out in the world and figure out who the truly dangerous people are.

And you don't want that to be you.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Tropical Storm Grief and Demolition, the Movie

So today was a little bit of a shit-storm.  Not Hurricane Katrina proportioned, but there's been a tropical storm brewing off my east coast for a while.  And it finally hit land.

It's funny to me how I know it's coming and there are times at night when I'm alone and I just wish I could cry...just a little to release the pressure.  I so wish I could time that right.  Then maybe I could avoid days like today.

I won't go into detail.  It's the same old story.  Man marries woman.  Man makes an early an unexpected exit.  Man leaves woman to deal with life on her own as a widow.  Woman wants to hit everything she can get her hands on but she can't because she's so drained that all feeling has left her body.  Woman will probably end up in bed after writing this blog to wallow in her widow misery.

Anyway, I made a risky move this afternoon and went to the movies on my own to see Demolition. As I sat in my seat with my medicinal peanut M&Ms I thought, given the day I was having, that this was either a brilliant move or incredibly stupid.

If you haven't seen the trailer, Demolition is about a man who loses his wife in a car accident. 

Yes, this could hit a little too close to home. But at least I could stare at Jake Gyllenhaal while I wallowed for a little while.  And that's never a bad thing.

If I could sum up the entire movie in one word it would be "honest."  I think one of the things I appreciated about it from the beginning was the portrayal of the marriage he had before he lost his wife.  Unlike other movies about grief and widowhood, things weren't perfect.  In fact, he had more or less checked out. Maybe they both had.  Things weren't bad.  Things were...marriage.

There were some things I thought I didn't relate to throughout the movie, but as I thought about it more it was actually spot-on.  Maybe the details weren't the same, but I remember trying to find a connection to ANYTHING.  I remember feeling like I was grieving backward.  I remember feeling manic (and now I'm wishing I had done less retail therapy and joined a demolition crew - that was genius).

Where I found myself smiling was when the main character, Davis (Gyllenhaal), was driving down the road and explaining how everything has now become a metaphor for him.  Oh, Lord how that was me for a while (still is sometimes).  A fallen tree, a detour sign...WHAT IS THE UNIVERSE TRYING TO TELL ME?????

Probably a fat lot of nothing.  But when my husband died nine years ago one ad could have made me buy a sports car because my husband wanted it way back when and SURELY that meant he wanted me to have it.

Oh, wait.  That actually happened.

If anything, the movie shows how everyone grieves differently and we all have a hard time understanding that even while we're doing it.  Some people are constructive with their grief and some people are destructive.  Who's to say who's right? (Although I will venture to guess that people who are constructive are probably more financially stable.  I'd hate to see what it cost to get that house back into shape after old Jake took a sledgehammer to it.)

So, here's the bottom line for my widow(er) friends:  I think you'll find things that you relate to.  If you're like me you might even feel a small release while you watch Jake hammer his way through his granite countertop.  You'll watch him struggle and find a random friendship with a stranger that he clings to (check) because they just somehow connect.  You'll watch him deconstruct his life until there's almost nothing left that he recognizes - because, even if he didn't, he wouldn't recognize his life anyway (double-check).

For my non-widowed friends:  You get to stare at Jake Gyllenhaal.

Enough said.