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Folding Shoes April 27, 2018

Posted by voolavex in birthday, mother, serial monster, funeral, life baggage, loss, dead, death certificate, guilt, My Mother, Social Issues.
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Today is my late mother’s birthday.  Had she lived, she would have been 95.  And had she lived I wonder what would have happened. I wonder about it too often, I think.

When I was a girl of tweenage – 11ish I’d say I went to Ballroom Dancing School in Salem, Massachusetts.  The teacher, Harriet James, was a kind of crone ‘too old to be teaching much of anything’ and she was bitter because she was teaching dancing school in Salem, Massachusetts. Dreams do not always come true.   She had a sort of Boston Brahmin/British accent, dyed hair, and a clicker.  (Used to be sold to kids at Halloween as well as in dime stores.  I have one-…thought I would “train” kittens and I knew better – cats come trained.  But I digress).  As we stumbled and counted in time to the music and we tried to learn the upper crust skills for the cotillion or debutante ball none of us would ever go to, she clicked at errors in waltzes, box-steps, cha-chas and the record would abruptly stop and we would start over again.  And boy, could she work that clicker with malice aforethought.  The sound still haunts me. I hate to think what she would do with a Flicker Spinner today. It was a class for boys and girls.  Mostly girls.  This culminated in fancy dress “Ball” we all wanted to attend and of course to win the 1st prize or just be the best.  Something like that.

I was a very thin child and wore glasses and in my own mind, no beauty. Clothes usually never fit right but the real problem was shoes.  I had feet like snakes.  Long and thin and in order to actually wear shoes, they had to be ordered from St. Louis.  From the shoe factory direct and so no Thom McAn’s for my AAAA/AAAAA feet.  (How I longed for cute, chubby feet with little cute toes).  And, we are talking “good” shoes –  au courant ballet flats for wearing with full length, tulle ball gowns.  Black or red or white (red was best) or, dare I say – gold or silver.  As I recall, my good shoes came a long way from St. Louis but color-wise they still had a long, long way to go in the metallics.  I had to endure jokes about glass slippers and sox and of course, I had no clue about my single mother’s money situation.  I just wanted “good shoes”, for the Ball.  And I knew how to whine.  And whine I did while my wonderful mother searched high and low for some sort of “good shoes” for me to wear to Miss Jame’s’s Ball.

I went to the lessons weekly and actually got the hang of the various dances but the thrill was gone.  Shoes were my only concern.  The dress was purchased.  Filene’s Basement.  And one fine day my mother came into the house with a shopping bag from a department store and announced she had found the shoes.  In gold, in my size and she presented the shoes to me with a smile and a sigh of relief as I tuned up and started to pitch a running fit.  “These are FOLDING SHOES”. ” They FOLD.  I don’t want shoes that fold”. I will not wear them and don’t get shoes that FOLD.”  A full-fledged tantrum and she was about to cry. “Just try them on”, she pleaded.  I screamed “No” and sobbed. And they sat on the table in their tacky plastic case, gold and FOLDED.  Night fell, I pouted and we went to bed.  By morning we had both gathered our arguments like Philadelphia lawyers and the “shoes” were once again on the table. “No,” said I. “I just won’t go”. And went to my room. And waited. And then as only mothers can  – she said, calmly through the door she would take them back and left them on the table. And went down the stairs and out the door.  What could I do now; ungrateful, spoiled snake footed bitch that I was?  I attacked the plastic case, unfolded the shoes and put them on. And they did fit.  And they did sparkle and they would work perfectly.  And because my mother was beautiful and perfect and wonderful,  I went to the Ball and my shoes never got mentioned.   But they were the first in a long series of folding shoes I wore until I watch a real teenager and the memory still makes me laugh.

Now, of course, comes the irony of ironies, she didn’t live to see that rebranded folding shoes are now “amazing” and “cool” and “all that”.  She would never see them all over the Internet (she wouldn’t see that either).  She would never gasp, as I do, at the prices asked for what used to come, folded, in a tacky plastic case for $2,99 at Jordan’s.   Choices unlimited, all colors and made mostly of pleather and vinyl and sometimes even leather and always “imported” from the Mystery Land of Folding Shoes. Who would have ever thought?

So for -, Happy Birthday Momma.  You left far too soon. But I see you in my dreams. and in memories of the damn folding shoes.

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#Metoo. Now What? (Edited) December 7, 2017

Posted by voolavex in despicable, Domestic Violence, Genital Matters, guilt, Guilt relief, Halter tops, Harvey Weinstein, illegal, marriage, murder, serial monster, sex, sexist, sexy, sins, Social Issues, solutions, The 45th, vagina.
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I have been informed that I have made some errors in this post.  There are 51 sets of sexual assault laws in this country.  They can be found on findlaw.com.  These are the 50 states and Federal law.  I did not check all of them and I did not include territories or possessions, however each body of laws regarding sexual crimes have various types, sentencing recommendations and those that cross state lines become federal. What I sensed in those I read was that various degrees of these crimes exist but I also think – only my opinion – that they should be codified better throughout the various legal systems.  And I hold to the idea that the accused and the abused should both have due process.  I should add that sexual crimes are very complicated and very much disagreed upon globally.  But indeed they are, in this country, set down by each state and  the federal government and guidelines, statutes and many laws exist. I apologize for not researching this better and I hope that simply by searching  a state’s sex crimes law on the Internet these resources will answer questions I cannot. I am not in law enforcement nor am I an attorney. This post has been edited to reflect my errors.

What happens when you unleash predators and dump them into a big cage with room for  many, many more?  Some are misdemeanor predators with only one egregious  act to their name and others are serial predators who would still be doing it if they had not been exposed.  It’s a valid question because every crime on our books has degrees of offenses.  Sexual crimes do as well (see above) – I would guess because it has been ignored, not believed, excused or just plain denied by the offenders or the legal and LE systems these laws may slip through the cracks.  It has a statute of limitations in some states so if you got assaulted 26 years ago – time has run out and the offender walks.

For many reasons – that of shame, trauma and fear of not being believed,what are considered criminals among us who don’t get charged and we have #metoos who do not get their day in court.  All  these particular offenses  are are not equal and herein lies the rub  (sorry).  Is a pinch on the butt equal to a rape in an alley?  Is workplace harassment comparable to a gang rape in a fraternity house or at a party.  Is substance abuse a factor?  Is domestic abuse with rape the same as rubbing up in subway car?  Can a husband rape a spouse legally.  Is flirting frought with danger.  Is it an invitation or is it so complicated a message it can be a crime to even do it? You know the variations on this theme and you also know that the acts themselves are not all the same.  They may make us feel violated and threatened and dirty; but they are not all the same.

Those accused – whom we so readily name and those who are not named but pointed at  – areoften not charged and therefore not proven guilty.  The millions of #metoos are still only  making accusations.  And while these offenses include the murdering of the souls and psyches of the women and male victims who have been abused and violated,  there  are still  very broad interpretations of such crimes by judges and juries. Frequently the evidence in any court would be one word against the other. I suspect even lawyers on both sides have issues with this problem.

How could you apply a statute of limitations on better defined degrees or would all sexual high crimes and misdeanors be treated exactly the same.  Anthony Weiner provided proof of his own aberrations – and he made himself the villain because he was the villain.  He is in the fedslam.  He has been disgraced and he is being punished through the legal system.  Due process.

Because a culture of fear and shame denied the violated, the violated were denied due process.  I think if I were so  inclined, I would sue those who perpetuated this.  And if I were in the legal arena, I would collect all the evidence available and bring causes of action in each case that could be a cause of action.  I would not favor the race or age or gender of the accused or their value to a college or a career or a future.  Let Justice be blind. We are a nation of accomplished finger pointers.  We use reputations to defame and extol many people who deserve neither.  But I am more concerned with the way in which these crimes or alleged crimes (because people do lie) are handled and have been handled. And I speak personally; that not all people violated have their lives ruined.  Many do, but many don’t. There are those of us who can relegate memories to a place where #metoo no longer has a daily impact or incessant pain.  We are the fortunate ones.

While members of the Congress and commerce are resigning in droves and without due process we are committing further injustice  and a rush to judgment outside the courts of law.  This is wrong too.

I do not claim to have answers that are effective in the moment.  But the crimes of a sexual nature; the rapes, the rubs, the feel-ups, the date rapes, the marital rapes, the campus rapes the injury, the accused who do go on trial, the anger, the retaliation all have to be placed in a context that other crimes against society and people are placed.  This body of crime has existed for all of humanity.  Some sought power, some sought satisfaction, some went nuts in war and kept on abusing.  But in any context – this  is not new.  And as such we need to make it fit into our legal system better and be adjudicated as we do many other offenses.

And please remember that women and men can be #metoos.

 

 

 

 

 

Still #metoo. Yet I Did Wise Up October 27, 2017

Posted by voolavex in common sense, Harvey Weinstein, sex, Social Issues, solutions.
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 (Please note – these men are all deceased and no names are mentioned)

Back in the halcyon days of Hollywood – when connections could open doors and a pretty girl went out to become a star, I did too. Not a starlet.  A star.  I was a lazy model, a wife, a mother and a dreamer who frequently thought – “I could do that”.  So in the guise of going to Hollywood to check on a house, we held a second on – up in the Bird Streets, I took my daughter and myself and flew to Hollywood for a week. Due to NYC connections of my then spouse, I had entrez to every studio in town – no waiting, valet parking, generosity of time. courtesy and no casting couch.  Stayed with a friend who was the most unhelpful director born.  Couldn’t, wouldn’t, didn’t even say no.  Just didn’t. No help at all.  His best moment was driving by Kirk Douglas’ house and saying casually “Oh, Kirk’s finally getting his driveway fixed”.  With that gem, I quickly found a hotel and rented a car.  I did check on the house stilted high above the fault lines with an excellent view of the city as it was then.  (It was on Warbler Way if you are wondering). Before that pivotal moment, however – the day before, I mentioned the name of a well-known studio exec who had a reputation for many things.  Elegance, erudition and expecting favors for his time and a possible bit part.  I was pleased about it until my friend shakes his head like a yenta and say “Oh, we were roommates when we first came to Los Angeles from NYC,  you’re not seeing him I hope?” And  I replied I did have his number as a person to call and then I was treated to the entire, blow by blow activities of this power broker and it was pretty graphic, but no big surprise.  I assured him that was not gonna happen and he mentioned it more than once and I ignored him. It turned out I did call this bigwig of Hollywood who nonchalantly invited me to his house above Sunset Strip for drinks the next evening and I went!!!!   Young, but not eggshell young.   I made a simple speech in my head to deliver that involved candor, name-dropping and explaining what I knew and what I had no intention of doing. (And frankly by that time – I was disgusted with the entire town, the “Industry”, whether or not I could act (I couldn’t) and I was about to get outta Dodge the next day. And so I went.

Up Sunset Plaza in my little rented Pinto (yup – Pinto)  And up some more and found the house, where I carefully backed into the driveway, put my keys under the seat and went to the door.   (Right now you think I was insanely stupid, driven by my “friend’s” paternalistic warnings; more like stubborn and over the movie star thing entirely.) I  rang the buzzer; the door opened and there he was in his silk jammies and robe!!!!  I swear to God.  DId I run.  Nooooo.  I walked past him, looked him in the eye and said very pleasantly, how do and I have heard all about your casting couch activities and I am not impressed or interested.  Everyone I know in this town (drop, drop, drop) knows where I am and (names, dropped, dropped, dropped) and stopped. He said nothing except to ask me what I would like to drink and I asked for a soda.  Long silence.  But he got one for me and then patted the couch like they like to do (still) and I laughed and all of a sudden,  as I sat in a chair, I knew he had gotten it and it had worked. We moved to the kitchen and he made ice cream sundaes and he was indeed erudite and well-educated and we laughed a lot.  He told me “it was a shame I was so pretty because what I was, was funny, but no one laughed at a comic who was a pretty girl.  I hesitated to mention Carole Landis, Judy Holliday or Myrna Loy.  Thanked for the ice cream and drove away to my little hotel room laughing like a maniac.  It was in fact, the best part of my week of getting famous (and lucky).Long before fat (yes because he is,) slobbering Harvey got busted for the myriad list of offenses he is accused of and likely did.

I am still a #metoo from more naive days,  But not that time.  Probably why I recall it so clearly and why I was proud of myself.  And why I still laugh and wish I had been able to give a course there and then it to the other #metoos.  Maybe back then on Kirk’s fixed driveway. (more…)

My Mother’s Birthday April 26, 1923 -1978 April 26, 2017

Posted by voolavex in birthday, mother, serial monster, funeral, life baggage, loss, dead, death certificate, despicable, Domestic Violence, guilt, Mann & Mann, marriage, murder, My Mother, serial monster, Social Issues.
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Back in the days when domestic disputes were shameful and unreported, my mother was the dead body in a domestic murder.

In a small blue-collar town in Massachusetts. On January 24, 1978.  It was a long time ago and it was a moment ago.  It was the tragic finale to many phone calls and plane ticket reservations and telephone commiseration for a mother who simply couldn’t.  She fought back, she screamed, she saw a doctor, she drank, but she could not leave with my two much younger siblings, or the pony or the house or the lingering affection she carried for a man who was a serial monster.  Bigamist, philanderer, narcissist, sociopath and murderer.  One sib says many calls of service were made to the local police – their hands tied by 1977/1978 concepts and legalities.  Another sib tells of death threats  made to them on the night of my mother death.  I did not know anything about this part.  I only knew my mother wrote and cried and simply said “he” had a girlfriend and she was confused and didn’t know what to do.  At 54 she was probably menopausal. Not much to go on.  She didn’t want to move out with the children or leave the pets and the laundry list of excuses women have conjured for time immemorial.  I was in Los Angeles and not welcome in her house. (Actually on February 10, 1958 I was no longer welcome in her life.  At 12, I thought it was because he really loved her.)  I blame myself for not listening harder and asking more questions.  And I had no idea that physical violence was part of the picture.  Neither of my siblings (19+ and 15) called me to ask for help. My mother had pride that went before all else.  Including her funeral.

Her death certificate from that time reads  COD: undetermined.  A residual fear stops me from requesting a new one.  She will still be dead.

She was only 54. Today is her 95th birthday. May I say she was beautiful and gentle and kind? May I say by the time I arrived at her house, anything of sentimental value that had belonged to her was gone?  That her grieving husband knew I knew and it was not pleasant?  That I swallowed my rage, stepped back and stayed for the children ( I am my mother’s daughter)? That I drank and sobbed and that the tables overflowed with funeral meats and that 200+ attended her funeral in Boston? That mourners continued;  people I never knew, arrived in tears? That it was the same funeral home by her high school best friend’s parents? Mann & Mann. That I had played as small child in their huge house upstairs? That my family went back as close friends of the Manns? That the grieving husband read a sickening tribute?. And that my own father wept with me in stunned sorrow?

In 1978,  it was simply another domestic dispute. Perhaps still in the local police records – on paper in a box; with so many others of the time.  

There was no investigation.  I knew of no interviews with siblings. That police never asked me anything.  My grandmother thought it was a heart attack.  She had just lost her only child.  Was it mine to reveal?  Information continued to seep through and very long after  I found out the history of the man she had married in 1958.  From his children; who loved my mother.  I should have wondered more about the words of my dear step-brother who walked in, in 1978,  crying, and said to me, sotto voce, “what did he do to her?”

 I have always known it was murder.  I have always known he patiently waited.  I knew she did not wash down 40 or 50 pills with vodka.  She didn’t ever take Darvon and that’s what they found. I know he sat beside her and watched. I have no idea how he managed to make it happen.  He died five years later; alone  in a rented apartment in Lawrence; the other woman long gone.  He was soup when they found him.  Dead five days of a heart attack in a fall from the up high liquor shelf. One he needed a step stool to reach.  In a closed apartment on a sweltering summer day.

 

He was short and bald and had good teeth.

I could kill him again and again for his crime but she would not have wanted that.  And dead never ends. They would have been married twenty years on that February 10th.

She has been gone 39 years. Since the day my  broken heart and endless anger met all at once.  And no one of us leftover has ever been able to move on.  We try to unpack that valise, only to realize that some things travel with you forever,  in your life luggage.

Pro-Abortion Groups, John? What Exactly Do They Do? October 17, 2008

Posted by voolavex in Politics & Religion.
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I was wrong.  Last night I watched McCain who twitches and grimaces like he has Tourette’s and Democrat nominee Obama – who looks like an ad from GQ,  hash it out – again.  It was painful.  I think maybe just hearing it might have been better.  Watching was painful.  And just when I thought they had said everything they could – again – McCain started using a term I was not familiar with.  And he used it more than once and I thought he had invented it for the debate.  Silly me.  Apparently “Pro-Abortion” is used by many groups who distort the actual meaning of Pro-Choice.  Here’s two I found – and I didn’t think I would actually find many because it is such an idiotic concept – who would even try.  Well I was wrong. 
 http://www.hli.org/article_ny_abortion_bullying_mexico.html
http://www.cirtl.org/lifefoes.htm
 are merely two groups who actively use this term to describe people who want to choose their own actions.  As offensive as I find it,  I also question the veracity of the term itself. It cannot be an accurate  because who can force anyone to have an abortion?  Pro-choice groups do not use guns, or bombs or threats to coerce anyone into an abortion.  Period.  You may have a bully of a parent or husband who tries or succeeds – but that is family.  No group I know of – who advocates choice wants you to have an abortion if you would like to have a baby instead. No group who is pro-choice targets pro-life groups for murder.  Pro-Choice is a name for people who think having a child or an abortion is private and no ones business but ones own.  Pro-Choice says that prevention of unwanted pregnancies is the best way to reduce the need for abortion.  They offer choices about preventing unplanned pregnancies – including abstinence.  Pro-Life offers one thing and one thing only.  A baby.  Wanted or Unwanted.  Healthy or Compromised. Married or Unmarried.  Even rape victims and even mothers at high risk for death.  This is pretty much what they want.  And now John McCain wants  us to accept the term Pro-Abortion and it is simply incorrect.    John McCain – who must have folks vetting his terms and speeches – knows that NARAL and Planned Parenthood are NOT Pro-Abortion.  John McCain knows that moderate GOP voters know this too.  So he comes across as an idiot, a shill and a stooge for the Right Wing Christians.  Do I think he is all those things – I don’t know – I just know what he sounded like to me.
 
A table on Abortion law – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia  spells it out pretty clearly and there are many countries who do not allow abortion on request but they do have exceptions that are certainly civilized enough to take into consideration circumstances and health issues. Abortions by country on wiki is a very good way to understand more about the subject and how it is handled elsewhere.  Italy says yes across the board.  I find this ironic.  
But for the most part there are exceptions and there are considerations.  Another quick search under the words “foreign abortion + bombings” turned up one in Bangladesh.  Pro Life means not killing doctors, nurses and patients
and whatever collateral damage (living things) gets caught in these acts of terror.
There is no Pro-abortion movement and John McCain knew it when he used the term.  Pandering to one segment of society is not equal rights.  It enslaves women.  It encourages and incites riots, killing and acts of domestic terrorism.
Pro-“Life” activists are militant; they put a higher value on some lives than others.  They do what domestic terrorists do – they kill, they maim and they deny every American equality.  Pro-life is not about life – it’s about control and subjugation. When those wing nuts start talking about what to do with all the babies they are insisting on – then I may hear them out.
 
For the record, abortion is not  birth control but, it is a medical decision that should be made first by a woman and her doctor.  Republicans spend more time trying to get into women’s pants than any other bunch I have encountered.   For a party that wants less government they certainly want to set one up in my uterus unilaterally and decides what comes in and what goes out.
Embracing personal choice is voting and worshipping and speaking on terms protected by the Constitution.  Maybe the snake handling, holy rollers and fundamentalists should read the Constitution instead of scripture.   And maybe John McCain should work on keeping his foot out of his mouth.
NARAL.org
Plannedparenthood.org
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