Does Hillary Clinton Exemplify Women Today?

Question: Does Hillary Clinton Exemplify Women Today?

Absolutely not. Most women my age have moved past Junior High and no longer participate in girlish antics of gossiping, whispering, badgering, lying, brow beating, haggling, sniveling bratty behavior. Hillary Clinton does not represent the average woman!

I am a middle class, college educated, single woman in my late 50s. I am four years younger than Ms. Clinton, so we are kind of like sisters – of the same generation. I clean my house, fix meals, wash dishes, take care of my own clothes, run errands, put out familial fires regarding my adult sons, change my own flat tires, work for three attorneys and their paralegals, manage bills, have a growing 401(k) plan, paid off my house and my car, volunteer for different projects, and I am a caregiver for my bed-ridden mother-in-law when I'm not at my real job. I have no body guard, no limo driver, and I don't care to take apart Obama's speeches because I agree with him – that the elitist people, like Ms. Clinton herself, are NOT listening to me! And there she goes again, being juvenile and being the pot calling the kettle black.

I came into adulthood in the middle of the so-called "feminist movement." I vividly remember the company I worked for having a fashion show the summer of 1968, on pantsuits. Until then, women wore dresses or skirts. Most women got married and had children and then thought about having careers; but the standard of the day was still having the wife/mother stay at home and the hubby was the breadwinner. Very few women opted to have careers first and then start families after they were established. Ten years later, I was a newly divorced, single mother of two toddler boys, trying to earn enough to support us and make a go of a new stage in my life – that of a single woman in a work force predominated by males. Now, thirty years later, I am a fairly well paid secretary with a substantial financial package to enable me to retire comfortably in about six years. Through these years, I have gone from a daughter and then a submissive wife, to a struggling single Mom continuously trying to make ends meet, to an independent, successful woman with some smarts, talent, and wisdom.

More and more women are going into careers that were once male dominated. More women are becoming doctors, lawyers, firemen, police officers – and are just as successful as their male counterparts. It is therefore a natural course of events to have a woman run for president. The country seems riveted on the fact that we have a first-time deal here: a woman running for president for the first time, and a black man running for president for the first time. However, the criteria for being president shouldn't be because the nominee was a first time record breaker for any category. I think someone running for president should have a couple "running for president" periods under the belt before they actually get the Gold Crown Award.

The women who are my friends and co-workers today are focusing on their families, as they leave the nest, as they bring back little chicks of their own. We are focusing on our lives as wives, friends, mothers and maybe early retirement if the economy would just slow down to a low roar. We watch world events with great interest and concern. We do not engage in petty bickering and sniveling – we are problem solvers and goal setters.

I don't have the time or patience for Hillary Clinton. I want Change. I want Compassion. I want Leadership!



I want the Facts, Man, Just the Facts

I hate spam email. Particularly this time of year when it is mainly political and mainly in opposition of a candidate. It is a rumor mill gone amok!

Does the opposing side think up these things in the middle of the night and then surreptitiously send them out in batches to unsuspecting people, in the guise of friendship? "Hey Jeanie – long time no see! Did you know that your next door neighbor was looking at porn last night??? I saw him through the window!" Then pretty soon, you start looking at your neighbor like the Monster from Hell and wish death upon him a thousand times. You took that email as FACT! You didn't check the facts (the neighbor was actually watching CNN) because, after all, a friend sent it. Would a friend make something like that up?

The same is happening in the presidential campaign. Put aside the fact that the real contest is between two people in THE SAME PARTY. When stuff like this happens, it almost forces voters to go to the other side and avoid this juvenile behavior altogether. McCain might just win out of default because the Democrats can't make their children play nice.

I have just about had it with Hilary Clinton and all her jealous jabbering. She claims she has more experience (being a wife – duh!). She claims she is the one to answer the white house phone at 3:00 in the morning – and we only have to worry about her diving under her bed to hide from what she perceives as sniper fire. She tells her husband to put a sock in it. Put aside the fact that her husband is a philanderer, womanizer, cheat, adulterer, etc., ad nauseam, and she couldn't control him then – how is she going to control him when she is busy answering the phone at 3:00 in the morning? Then she takes out of context a statement her opponent made at a private fund raising function and blows that all out of proportion. She is a spiteful 12-year-old brat having a tantrum and resorting to maligning gossip as her leverage.

Now there is this particularly evil email that goes round and round and round about Barack Obama not putting his hand over his heart during the Pledge of Allegiance. I've seen it before when he first announced his candidacy. But in studying the facts of the case – it is noted that it wasn't the Pledge of Allegiance, it was the National Anthem. There is no note saying he just put his hand down before everyone else or that he was not reciting the Pledge. He is pictured with Richardson (who supports him) and Clinton – all three with their backs to the flag. Further, the picture itself is taken out of context and if you want to attack Obama on not being reverent to the Pledge and/or Anthem – what about Clinton with her back to the flag??? O give me a break!

Check out Snopes at http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/anthem.asp

It is very troubling to me that people receive this email, believe it as factual (and who is to say who started it – did Clinton in the middle of the night and then pass it on as Jane Doe?). They are sending it to their family and friends; they are spreading it around their churches. They will not vote for Obama based on this one frivolous egregious email. And they won't bother to check the facts either because they want to dumb down.

I pray for the intelligence of the people!



And now for a commercial break……

Sometimes in the evenings, after I have finished all my tasks, I truly enjoy just cuddling next to my significant other, sitting back, and watching something good on television. But then we have to endure the commercials. Is it only me – are commercials really deep down stupid and idiotic? I mean, don't they just beg you to leave the room and get something to eat or drink, or just get out of the room! Or hit the mute button – and then they really look moronic.

My all-time waste-of-my time commercials are for Erectile Dysfunction Disorder. I'm sorry, guys, but I just don't care! And I'm an equal opportunity discontent commercial watcher – I don't care about tampons, feminine lubricant, leaky bladders, or stress headaches, either. But the Cialis commercials are on top of my make-me-shudder scale. The music for one thing. The obvious sexual undertone for another. (I'm not letting my 85 year old mother-in-law watch THAT crap!) And what's with the two individual bathtubs???? You're telling me that the couple gets hot and heavy, has sex, and then they go down to the beach and climb into two separate bathtubs and hold hands and watch the sunset? That's romantic? Personally, I think it is far more intimate and romantic to share ONE bathtub. You might even just toss that Cialis away. The warm bubbly bathtub filled with musky scents and oils will perk you right up! Guaranteed.

So, I'm in the back room, folding clothes and I hear the familiar Cialis melody. Ignore! Ignore! Ignore! And then a voice is saying something about getting a "bigger package" and I'm on alert. Are there any "little" ears watching this? And the voice goes on to "warn" you of the amazing benefits of upgrading to an even "bigger package" and "my wife has never been so happy," and THEN, "my neighbors are really impressed!"

Say what?

So I run out to the living room to hit the mute or smack the off button or just toss the television onto the floor – when I see STARZ filling the screen and realize it's on cable – promoting and upgrade to Starz. And as the camera pans across the screen, there, are those same two bath tubs, overlooking the city lights below.




The Winter of Quebec

It's raining right now and it is pitter-pattering on my air conditioner just outside the window I am sitting next to. Maybe the rain is trying to wake the air conditioner with hopes of summer even as we hear of another snow coming our way. (ok, high in the mountains – but I can see the mountains from here.)

When I was a young Air Force wife, we were stationed in Val d'Or, Quebec, a little village about a thousand miles north of Detroit. To get there we went from Peru, Indiana, just south of Chicago, east to Toronto, next to Montreal, and then a wide circle north and back west on a little national park road until we rounded a corner, and there was our new home for the next two years. In the “bush” as they called it – kind of like in the jungle or in the wild or in the plains. In the bush.

Moose sightings were more common then pets. And everyone spoke French and the French didn't like the English-speaking Canadians, like they were somehow traitors in this province squashed on two sides by English-speaking provinces. And the French made a new policy that year, 1973, to from this day forward only speak French. They tolerated English-speaking Americans I guess because we couldn't help it that we came from a primitive land where French was only taken in high school to fulfill the college entrance requirement of two years of [any] foreign language. I didn't know a word of French.

I learned to only mix with the English-speaking – whether from America or from Canada. I discovered a Newberries a mile away in downtown Val d'Or and near it a Kentucky Poulet Frit. I would survive by saying the few words I could muster, poorly, like merci. I was the politest foreigner they ever saw.

Ah, the title – Winter – well, you see, we all complain about one.more.snow in the Pacific Northwest and you ain't seen nothing yet! It started snowing in the middle of October and we were told that was late. It continued to snow, and snow, and snow until the snow came up to the bottom of our balcony of our second floor apartment. Earlier my toddler would have great fun tossing toys one by one into the yard below and then watching either Mummy or Daddy scurry down the stairs and gather them up again. In Winter, we only had to reach over the railing and pull them in.

Everyone had snow blowers – and paths were made from front doors to the street, from back doors to the cars. After a few months of this activity, hallways would form that were ten feet tall. Every car was parked next to its own individual electric post that connected to a little heater that was placed in with the engine so the engine wouldn't freeze. It was regularly 30 below zero for weeks on end. The car always started but all the tires would have a frozen flat spot and the car would wobble slowly down the road until they thawed, like some wintery Disney ride.

There was a large meadow (maybe, I never really saw the ground) between my apartment building and a tiny French grocery store. I would walk across the field on top of the snow – the ice crust was so thick.

People decorated their bushes and trees with big old fashioned Christmas lights and then poured water over them and had instant sculptures with fuzzy lights blinking inside. It was magical!

Snow mobiles and moose abounded – and some literally bounded – leaping across the “hallways” built up by the snow. So – when you left your apartment, you looked both ways right off the bat for the meandering moose or the roaring snow mobile.

My second child was born April 30, 1974 and we were back home a couple days later (nice nurses kept me longer because I already had a baby at home and they said “she needs her rest” in broken English to my Air Force husband, who really, REALLY wanted baby sitting relief – another story). Snow still piled high, roads still packed a foot higher.

In June, this fantastic “parade” started in front of my house. There was a truck/tractor going down the road, chopping at the packed snow on the road. Following that gizmo was another truck with a plow that scooped up squares at least a foot thick of packed snow and lifted the blocks up and over itself to be dumped into a third vehicle behind. This continued for several days and on June 10, 1974, I was able to take my baby out in his stroller for a “spring” walk.

I always wondered if there weren't some igloo mansion being made just outside of town.



The Ugly Brown Shoes and the Belly Dancer

When I was very little, my mother tells me that I had a "small" case of polio. Now, I'm not sure that wasn't a fabrication on my mother's part or if indeed you can have a "small" case of polio. Anyway, when I was in Fourth Grade, we experienced one of the first mass physical examinations in the state of Washington - all of us ten-year-olds, boys and girls, in our jammies, in the school gymnasium, entering one at a time, into the "doctor's office" (formerly known as the coach's office), to get a physical exam. I have no idea why this was done, but they discovered I had curvature of the spine and was extremely pigeon toed; and my mother said it was a result of my small case of polio.

I went to the Shriner's Hospital (for children mainly with orthopedic problems or polio). I was told I would never dance - but that's ok, said the doctor, "she's only ten." I had to wear what I can only call "ugly brown shoes" from 4th grade to 7th grade, at which time my doctor ordered my parents to get me out of those shoes before my psyche was totally ruined. He said I might have problems as an adult, but nothing compared to the bruised self esteem I was experiencing. I hated those shoes. They were, well, BROWN. Ugly brown. And they went up past my ankle like a baby's boot. ugly.brown.shoes.

Funny - I happened to google "ugly brown shoes" and I came up with a whole LIST of sites that were all post-polio survivors and each person was describing their shoes exactly as I had. So much for being unique.

These UBS, as I nicknamed them, cost my parents a small fortune. They had steel plates in them and they were probably ten times more expensive than a normal shoe. So they were held above my head (metaphorically but just as heavy) like a sign. Something like, “Here stands Jeanie in her UBS because she had a small case of polio.”

They were ugly. They made me feel ugly. I was ugly. They were just hateful, nasty, ugly, brown, shoes.

But revered by my parents......


We went to a local lake one summer and (this tells you how old I am - but just look to the right and I tell you how old I am!), the dressing room just off the beach was a large, two stall, out house. My mother, sister, and I went in there to change into our swimsuits. I can still picture this - I undressed and carefully placed my folded clothes on the bench between the two "holes." And then I just as carefully and neatly put my UBS next to my clothes, and poof, down a hole they went, to the dark, murky, icky abyss below. I debated for about two seconds on making an announcement to my mother – dollar signs flashing in front of my eyes. And when I did, the expected all-hell broke lose. She went to my Dad who was in the other side of the long dressing building.

To my horror, Dad found an opening outside in the back of the outhouse and he crawled in there and rescued my dang UBS, washed them off, handed them to me, and told me to never, never, never, ever, drop them in the outhouse hole again. Ever. {sigh}

A couple years later we were on vacation when my Dad shouted his infamous "I Know A Short Cut" and away we went to places where no man has been before. Well, no vehicle had been before for a long, long time. It must have rained heavily in the area, as we found ourselves on a mile long road with swamp on either side of it. Dad fishtailed a few dozen feet and narrowly missed going into the swamp on one side or the swamp on the other side, when he got mired in an unbelievable sticky, mucky, muddy mess. My mother, my three siblings, and I all got out and pushed the station wagon as far as we could, whereupon Dad would take off again, fishtailing, narrowly missing getting swamped, and then again getting stuck, and we would start all over again, muttering things like "short cut, my tush."

When all of a sudden one foot was FREE! The mud had sucked the UBS right off my foot. Immediately, without taking a breath or a pause, my mother said, "Get that shoe right now." So – almost saved there for a second.


I was sorely embarrassed by those ugly brown shoes. I hated them with a passion. I would close my eyes really, really tight and visualize them being white, or better yet, girly girl pink! I'd open one eye, and there they'd sit, two ugly brown shoes each with an ugly brown tongue sticking out at me in a neener neener kind of way that you would expect from your bratty little brother – these were simply SHOES, I'd tell myself.

I was turning 13 and got to go see my doctor by myself. I was thrilled because I just got a new bra that I was hoping someone would notice instead of my UBS. (ok, training bra, size AA.) Well, he was kind. A grandfatherly sort – he knew right off the bat that I didn't need a bra but he humored me anyway. When he got to my feet, he asked how the shoe thing was going. I wailed and wailed. “Don't you see?? They are Ugly.Brown.Shoes!!!” He called my mother before I got home and that was the end of the UBS. I took great delight in standing as far away from the garbage can as I could and chucking each shoe into the garbage can as if I were a ten-foot-tall star basketball player.

So, I'd grow up crooked, with inward toes, trip a lot, and not dance.

Then I got to high school and the Junior Class (my class) was putting on a two-hour play and I wanted to be in it. They were casting for dancers. Well, I've always done what I'm told I can't. There is a button on me somewhere that toggles off or on in opposition of negative presumptions. Nobody has told me I can't fly, so I haven't attempted it. So, I timidly and shyly tried out for the chorus line. It was just like what you see on the movies – a whole crowd of dancer-wanna-bees jumbled together on stage, trying to follow directions and listen to music at the same time. (Not really my talent, but hey.) Before I knew it, the instructor was weeding out flat-out-no-talent from maybe-can-dance, to Can-Dance. And I ended up in the final twelve. I had to go buy a bikini so I could fit some gauze on it to look like a belly dancer. (Still iffy on filling out the upper part of my costume, but never say I don't give it my all.)

Mom told me later that Dad, who was in the third row to watch his “baby” on stage, covered his eyes. He may have laughed; he may have wept. She couldn't tell - he just shook his shoulders a lot.

So now you know the story about the Ugly Brown Shoes and the Belly Dancer!