The Sunday After

No dogs were walked, no outside balls were thrown, and no outdoor chores got done, including painting my new white locking mailbox gray to blend in the neighbors’ 45 year old boxes, and cleaning up the hedge and pine needles strewn across the greenbelt next to my property. Yes, it seems silly to have to rake them up, but it’s high fire danger in October, and today is windy. Thus, the fire an hour away.

So where do we go from here? I’ve spent the last several days venting over the Kavanaugh debacle. Thank God for the two women in the elevator who got Jeff Flake to ask for an FBI investigation. In the end it didn’t matter, and the judge with questionable character was sworn in for life as a supreme court judge.

What would Ruth Bader Ginsburg do? Will she be congenial when they meet? Will she give him a sidelong glance as if to say, I’m watching you, Mister. Will judges Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor look him in the eye and see if he looks away? Will he?  What will Clarence Thomas have to say about any of this?  What will the nine judges discuss first?

As the rest of us get back to life as usual and I go back to writing worst first dates and best first dates, will I ever have another blog post as widely read as when I wrote about the club no woman wants to join? The post that my younger sister saw and then called me to say she was sorry it had happened to me because I was not able to tell her out loud? The post that prompted four of my friends (Martha, Meri, Cindy, Barbara, Linda) and another Facebook friend to tell me about their rapes, three of them in their teens like me? One at a sleepover when she was fifteen.

As I rest my tired legs from too much outdoor dancing on cement yesterday, dry a load of laundry and listen to my whining dogs that don’t understand about smoke, breathing and skipped walks in the park, I wonder what I could be doing today to get people to give up their despair and register to vote.

When I was in my twenties, none of this was going on. The world seemed pretty great. Rents were cheap, health insurance came with the job, and a car didn’t cost a fortune.  But for today’s young people, the world doesn’t look as rosy. Just read my nephew’s posts if you don’t believe me.

School shootings, concert shootings, rising rents, rising healthcare costs, no more pensions, a corrupt-feeling government, an off-balance president who worships dictators with nuclear capabilities and locks up children, a warming planet and bizarre weather occurrences — young people wonder if they will live into their old age.

A state where everything is too expensive to make it unless you have a Silicon Valley job, a town where the ten year olds eat pizza with their parents and discuss the newest Tesla model. I kid you not.  Two girls stepped over my son’s dog to check out the car parked in front of Blue Line pizza, where a large pie is $27.00. The place was fairly full for a Saturday afternoon. These families have money.

I remember when we moved here thirty-one years ago and there was only a handful of restaurants, and they were chains – Coco’s, Denny’s, Dairy Queen, and Round Table pizza. Now my town has 61 restaurants for 43,000 people.   They all seem to be making it, for the most part.

I live on a court with five other families, the youngest one only here because the guy bought the house from his siblings when their mother died.  He has a young family of little girls. Two other families have teen girls. The rest of us are retired. Oh, and the two girls on the corner are in middle school, I think.  We have older houses, yards made of clay, crumbling sidewalks, and not enough trees. But everyone stays here. Who could afford to move? It occurs to me that I am the second newest resident, and it’s been seven plus years since I moved in.

My daughter grew up and went to college, then my son bounced back, then he left, and my sister joined me. There were periods of living alone, other periods of having somebody here. I kept my son’s Dachshund for a while until he got too old to tolerate the new puppy that grew up into a medium-sized dog. Then a neurotic rescue dog came to live here and dominates us all.

It’s chapters in a book, in a life, in a neighborhood.  We will go on. I wonder how yesterday’s confirmation will affect all the females on this court as they grow up, move away, and start their next chapters. I will grow older and maybe won’t care as much about what goes on in Washington.

Not likely. But I had to try it on to see how it felt to say that.

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