Sunday, August 31, 2014


Rarely is it when I write a blog the point of which centers on my being athiest.  However, today I read an opinion piece that was titled "Can an athiest ever be elected to public office?"  By Carlos Moreno.  I am in agreement with his piece.  

What I have a problem with is one particular sentence in his editorial.  It begins, "When people of faith question the morality of those without faith..." then continues on to make a point that I happen to agree with.  What I have a problem with, is the seemingly common perception that people who are theists corner the market on faith.  That becauseI  don't believe in any god, that I'm somehow not allowed to have faith.  To assume that because I am not a theist I can't possibly have faith is ridiculous.  I absolutely have faith.   I have a tremendous amount of faith in myself which developed after years of being tested and proving myself over and over again in times of adversity and in times of calm.  I have a tremendous amount of faith in my husband, who amazes me every day.  I have a tremendous amount of faith in our marriage, its foundation, and its future.  I have endless, boundless, faith in my family, my extended family, and my friends.  Occasionally, I even have faith in our country...and if that isn't a test I don't know what is.  But to insinuate that because my faith doesn't have its foundation in some deity I am faithless?  Insulting.  

That is all.

Monday, July 28, 2014

The No-Sex Spreadsheet

There was a story recently about a woman whose husband sent her a spreadsheet documenting how often he’s tried to initiate sex vs how often she said “no” and the reasons she gave.  The woman then used Reddit (a site I haven’t a clue about, by the way) to tell her tale of woe, prefacing her attempt to convey a can-you-believe-what-my-husband-did-to-me angle, by calling him “immature”.  I saw a news clip on CNN about this story and the direction they chose to report was a communication-in-marriage issue.  Ok, I get that.  But let me tell you my take on it…

I’m a spreadsheet kind of person.  I like me some facts.  I enjoy tracking things.  I really, really love finding patterns in events, issues, and time.  It’s just the way my brain works.  I’m guessing this woman’s husband’s does too.  I would be willing to bet dollars-to-donuts (because I am also a donut kind of person) that a conversation took place between the two of them that went something like this:  Husband:  Wanna have sex?  Wife:  Not tonight, I have a headache.  Husband:  You know, sweetheart, you seem to say “no” a lot.  We almost never have sex any more.  Wife:  I do NOT say “no” a lot.  I say “yes” way more than I say “no”.  We have PLENTY of sex.”
Now, a spreadsheet kind of person, who is all about the facts, starts going back in his mind thinking about all the times she said “no”.  He knows she’s mistaken.  It’s not even a matter of opinion.  His wife’s take on the matter is factually incorrect.  But he doesn’t have solid proof and numbers.  Out comes the spreadsheet.  There’s nothing wrong with that.  The problem people have with it is that the spreadsheet was about sex.  I don’t see it that way.  This is about her insisting she was right about something when in fact she was wrong.  He proved it to her.  Period. 
The spreadsheet could have been about ANYTHING.  For instance; when my husband drives us somewhere and he puts his truck in reverse, sometimes he’ll knock the windshield wiper do-hicky thing with his elbow or something and they turn on.  Not really his fault.  I’m guessing the design and placement of it isn’t all that great and people who own that particular make/model of truck do the same thing.  Yet the other day when I laughed after he did it again, he said “What”?  I said “You turn on the windshield wiper all the time when you put it in reverse and it’s funny”.   To which he replied “I don’t do it all the time.  That hardly ever happens.”  Trust me on this one folks…my mental spreadsheet came out and I thought about tracking it from that moment on so I can show him that he DOES do it all the time.  Maybe not EVERY time, but often enough that it makes me giggle because he does it a lot.  I ultimately decided against going that route.  This time.  There will be other more worthy battles, I’m sure.
My point here is that his wife was wrong.  Instead of looking at the spreadsheet and saying, look at that, you’re right and I’m wrong (you’re still not getting sex and the way you proved your point pissed me off so much that you may not get any for months), she instead threw it out there for the world to see.  She probably doesn’t even realize that she further proved HIS point and HER wrongness to the masses.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Childless-by-choice, Cameron? OWN IT.

As a fellow card-carrying member of the childless-by-choice club, I think it’s great that the actress Cameron Diaz publicly shared some of her reasons when asked about it recently.  As a person in the public eye, I’m sure she had her reasons for explaining her child-free life using the words she did.  But I would like to take on one of the statements she gave as her “reasons” and give my opinions on them…not that anyone asked. But hey, that’s the beauty of being me.  I don’t care that you didn’t ask.  I’m going to tell you anyway, and you can choose not to listen (or “read” as it were).

One thing Diaz said was, “Not having a baby might really make things easier, but that doesn’t make it an easy decision."  I understand the point she is attempting to convey, but that’s the wrong way to put it.  Breaking this statement down into two parts, if you HAVE children, then you shove them off to the grandparents for a weekend sanity-check, things WOULD get easier for the parents during that weekend.  However, NOT having children doesn’t ‘make things easier’.  Those of us who chose to live a child-free life simply chose not to add that complexity into the mix to begin with.  But to say that it ‘makes’ things easier is a misnomer.  Life isn’t “easy” when you don’t have children.  Trust me.  Our difficulties may not be the same, but I resent the insinuation that they are somehow “easier” because they don’t involve children. 
The other half of that statement was “… but that doesn’t make it an easy decision."  The problem I have with this part is that she is making herself out to be some sort of martyr.  If you don’t want to have children, then you shouldn’t have children.  A “decision” would be if she WANTED to have children but then CHOSE not to.  She was very clear in the interview when she stated “I was just never drawn to being a mother.”  She never wanted kids to begin with, which is perfectly acceptable.  But that would be like me saying it was a “tough decision” not to have kids.  Anyone who knows me know that there was no decision about it.  I didn’t want kids.  I never wanted kids.  I will never want kids. I was lucky enough to marry a man who didn’t want children.  It wasn’t a ‘decision’, it just simply…was.

I understand that my spewing here may come across as nitpicky, but I am very passionate about this subject.  I have long felt that there are so many women out there who never should have had children to begin with (my own biological one included, sadly) and if they were just honest with themselves from the get-go, there would be fewer resented, unwanted, and neglected children.  You fessed up, Cameron Diaz, which is certainly commendable, but you didn’t really own it.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

To Lie or Not to Lie

Yesterday something interesting happened when I went shopping at White House black-market.  I walked into the store and one of the salespeople there asked if she could help me with anything.  I turned around to to answer her question, and something occurred that had only happened one or two other times in my life.  I was face-to-face and eye to eye with another adult.  I couldn't hide my smile.  I said you're 4'9" too?!  I said it in such a way as to indicate that I was very excited to see somebody else that was the same height as me. I mean, we had something very rare and special in common here.  She said, with a note of displeasure that I didn't quite understand, "No,I'm 5 feet exactly."  Somewhat taken aback, I said, "but...really?"  I didn't say anymore about it and the remaining (somewhat uncomfortable), conversation was regarding clothes.  

Here's the thing, I was looking at this woman right in the eyes.  Not only was she not even an inch taller than I, she clearly wasn't 3 inches taller.  I was completely confused.  Is it possible that she had been measured incorrectly her whole life?  Or maybe someone wasn't telling her the truth?  It took me until almost an hour after I left the store to realize that she was lying about her height.  

This actually brings up a couple of issues.  The first one is the act of lying about yourself to begin with about such things as your height your weight or age, which never occurred to me to do.  The second thing is then, what do you do when you're face to face with somebody who knows right away that your lying?  In her case she just stuck right to the lie.  Which I think sort of made her look stupid and me uncomfortable.  Or was I at fault for embarrassing her even though it wasn't intentional?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Complete Transparency? I Think Not.

When the Air Force (DoD?) announced that it was planning an unprecedented number of personnel cuts for the coming fiscal year(s), I don’t think anyone was shocked. That said, there is a significant amount of stress that is placed upon people whose jobs are now uncertain. When these cuts were announced back in January, there was a fairly clear path forward and assurance of complete transparency in the process. Timelines, programs, numbers, etc., all seemed to reflect that. I think generally, the population affected had a good idea of what was to come. Good or bad.

A couple of weeks back, however, the Air Force slammed on the breaks. They “suspended” the processing of early retirement and voluntarily separation packages. The only tools that were out there that gave members any control over their own destinies. For people who wish to remain, or those like me who don’t exactly qualify for early retirement, but have served too many years to simply quit and lose out on a lifetime of benefits, we are left in a state of limbo.

Questions are being asked that go unanswered, rumors are running rampant. The general statement from “above” is to just keep doing the best job you know how as if nothing is different. Really? That’s incredibly easy to say when your job is secure. When you are afforded the opportunity to retire no matter the outcome. For the rest of us it’s a constant source of stress. Every day we are left to wonder what our futures are going to hold. Every night we lose sleep. It is getting harder and harder to keep a brave face.

There was a great line from the Princess Bride that really sums this up nicely, and I must thank my husband Eric for bringing up its relevancy to this situation. When Wesley was talking to Buttercup about the events that took place during his time away he explained…“Every night the Dread Pirate Roberts would say to me, “Good work, sleep well, I’ll most likely kill you in the morning…”.

Yep. That pretty much sums it up.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Leave Duck Dynasty’s Robertson Alone

Now that the initial story of Duck Dynasty’s patriarch, Phil Robertson, and his views on several social issues has begun to wane, in typical media fashion (ALL MEDIA, left, right, and center, as they all have their own breed of dog in this fight), as much dirt as can be found on Robertson is being dug up.  In the latest shocker (read: not so much), they found media of him from several years back saying something along the lines that he felt that men should marry girls when they are 15 or 16.   So what?  Does that really come as a surprise to anyone?  What is the point of crucifying him in the court of public opinion?  Do you really think that Phil Robertson’s views are going to turn tolerant people into bigots?  Atheists into theists?  The people who share Robertson’s views are going to continue to share his views.  The people who don’t share his views will continue not to.  What about the children, you ask?  Their poor, innocent, little minds and viewpoints haven’t been fully formed yet, right?  Well, you know what?  It’s up to parents to raise their children how they want to raise them.  If they are letting some “reality” TV show do it, then shame on them.

What do the people think is going to happen here?  Do they think that if they dig up enough crap that Robertson is going to show up next week on an exclusive interview with Barbara Walters, tears in his eyes, and the heartfelt admission that he has seen the err of his ways?  Fat flippin’ chance.  Here’s another news flash, even if he DID, no one would believe him.  People can say whatever they want in public.  In private, they will always be who they are.

So you know what?  Leave him alone.  In the United States people are allowed to express their opinions. There are plenty of people who believe the world is flat, and the moon is made of cheese.  You can give them all the tools you want to help them prove otherwise, but they will never believe it.  That’s ok.  They don’t have to.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

"Merry Christmas" - One Non-Theist's Viewpoint

As a child who grew up Jewish in a predominantly Catholic neighborhood, we shared many of our holiday traditions with one another. The families on ‘the block’ knew we were Jewish, we knew they were Catholic, and for the most part I believe we respected, understood, and celebrated our holiday times together. Even so, as a youngster I do remember taking a defensive stance when people would say “Merry Christmas” to me or people in my family because I found it rudely presumptuous to simply assume that everyone believed as you did.

Now that I am an adult, secure in myself, my morals, ethics, and my atheist views, I no longer feel defensive around Christmas time when people extend wishes to me for a “Merry Christmas”. I have never been a militant atheist anyway, and a wish for a “Merry Christmas” is just that…a thoughtful expression for good will that is seasonally appropriate. It is a very different animal than proselytizing. No one can look at you and know that you are a believer vs a non-believer. We live in a country where most of its citizens happen to be those who are believers that celebrate Christmas. If you say “Merry Christmas” to a stranger, you’re going to be right the vast majority of the time.

There are plenty of militant believers out there who are going to go around saying “Merry Christmas” to people simply hoping to get an argumentative response from a non-believer so they can invoke a fight and preach their cause. There are also plenty of non-believers out there who will wait for that “Merry Christmas” so they can call out the ignorance of believers. You know what? Let ‘em find each other. Let them duke it out and put sour note in the one time of the year when people are genuinely happy, friendlier, and kinder to one another.

I say all that to say this…when someone says “Merry Christmas” to me, I say “Merry Christmas to you as well.” When my husband and I wake up on Christmas morning, we will say “Merry Christmas” to one another and I’ll kiss him on the nose. As Christmas day goes on, I will probably send 20 texts to friends and loved ones that say “Merry Christmas and love to you all!” It’s the right thing to do and the right time of year to do so. To spite a well-wish from anyone serves no purpose.

Merry Christmas!