Have you ever acted like a d*ck?

I’m not going to pretend I wasn’t pissed off at the time, but I was hardly going to hand over to them the power to ruin the rest of my day, let alone scar me for life.

I was a senior in high school in 1981. While at gymnastics practice, I experienced something somewhat akin to Christine Blasey Ford’s traumatic and life-altering sexual assault, except my reaction to it was decidedly different.

I had left the gym to go out into the lobby and get a drink at the “good” drinking fountain—the fountains in the gym were a half-assed affair where the water’s pathetic attempt at dribbling out necessitated a serious amount of slurping and sucking (remember: this was 1981, decades before everyone—not just we serious athletes—carried around a bottle of water). As I was walking away from the fountain to go back into the gym, two members of our varsity boys’ basketball team—at the time undefeated and the reigning heroes of the school—grabbed me and proceeded to drag me into the boys’ locker room. Based on the fetid odor of boy sweat, the team had just finished their practice and were occupying the locker room where I assumed they were showering and changing into their street clothes. I can’t tell you much more because as soon as I saw where the guys were dragging me, I squeezed my eyes shut and didn’t open them until the “ordeal” was over.

So, there I was, in my gymnastics leotard and bare feet, in the smelly boys’ locker room where—and I’m just conjecturing here based on all the whoops and hollers and stupid boy laughter—I’m sure all manner of male junk was shoved in my face.

Of course, I started screaming at the top of my lungs hoping someone outside the locker room would come in and rescue me because I did not want to open my eyes and see a bunch of my classmates balls-ass naked.

Soon after I started screaming, my coach Mr. D_____ came into the locker room. I could tell something was different because it became unmistakably quieter. Without a word to anyone, Coach grabbed me and proceeded to lead me out of the locker room.

And here’s the part that really sucked. He yelled at me because I allowed myself to fall victim to these boys’ prank. He yelled at me because I was out of the gym when I should have been practicing back walkovers on the beam. He yelled at me because I had the audacity to leave the gym to get a drink at the “good” fountain. He yelled at me because, well, because he thought this was all my fault.

What happened next? Sufficiently chastened by Coach, I hopped back up on the beam and continued practicing my back walkovers.

What didn’t happen next? I didn’t tell my dad because he would have come unglued and kicked somebody’s ass. I didn’t tell the boys’ varsity coach because I didn’t think it warranted that much attention. I didn’t tell any of my friends who the two guys were who dragged me into the locker room, or, if I did, my friends didn’t think it was important enough to tell anyone else. In short, it happened, and I got over it.

Thirty-seven years later, I’m pretty sure who one of the guys was; I don’t remember the other. If I were asked to testify under oath about the incident, I’d have to say it happened so fast that I do not remember who the two young men were.

Am I permanently scarred because of this incident? No. Why? Because I realized, even at the time, that these were boys being dicks. I’m not going to pretend I wasn’t pissed off at the time, but I was hardly going to hand over to them the power to ruin the rest of my day, let alone scar me for life. Have you ever acted like a dick? I know I have.

Now, before you get up on your hind legs and cry out a fresh string of lamentations about how I’m a mother of two girls and how can I be so insouciant about this whole sordid event, let me reiterate, if you didn’t already draw this conclusion.

I was not physically hurt, nor was I psychologically hurt. Honestly, the worst part of all this remains my coach’s reaction. I’m nearly positive, though, if in his dotage he remembered this today, he’d chide himself for his poor sense of judgement.

I also realize that if this were to happen today, the fallout would be far different than it was in my small high school in 1981. The sh*t would hit the fan, careers would be destroyed, counselors would be on hand to provide comfort to all the victims, and most likely, two relatively decent guys who stupidly decided one afternoon to be a couple of dicks would lose everything. But, like my 17-year-old self, I refuse to be a victim.

If today any member of that championship team were to be nominated for a seat on the Supreme Court, you can bet this story would never see the light of day. You can also bet—based on the fine men each of those boys have become—that I’d throw my support behind any one of them.

What does that make me? I’d say it makes me a realist who understands the difference between the way adolescents act versus the manner in which adults should comport themselves. All I am asking is for perspective.

 

My Elusive Search for the Baby Jesus

I get that Christmas means different things to different people.  What I don’t get is that there is not equal time given to the actual reason for the celebration.

It’s time for the Springers to “put up” Christmas, and since it’s been such a good year, I’ve decided to update some of my worn out janky-looking Christmas accoutrements including the Nativity scene I purchased at Walmart about 20 years ago.  Joseph broke in half a long time ago, so I subbed in a worthy-looking shepherd for him ever since (not sure how Mary felt about this, but he seemed like a utility player), both oxen are missing their ears, and for some reason, there are only two wise men.

(I think the other one—the one who brought the myrrh—must have been embarrassed by the ordinary nature of his gift.  This was before the current obsession with essential oils, so Myrrh Man, if you’re somewhere hiding in the attic, it’s okay to come out now.  Essential oils are a thing now.)

And because I was there to buy laundry detergent, tampons, and dog food, I swung by Walmart’s dedicated acre of Christmas crap in search of some JV players to fill out the varsity bench of my Nativity scene.  Or, as a last resort, I’d retire the current team and purchase a new one, maybe get some bigger, stronger players and a better, sturdier barn for them to play in.  Like I said, it’s been a good year.

After all, Jesus is the reason for the season, right?

Wrong.  I found *Disney character ornaments and other assorted Disney-themed Christmas stuff (‘stuff’ being the optimal word here—some of this shizz was pure junk), plenty of IU and Colts ornaments (I live in Indianapolis), stockings, and bric-a-brac, a lot of nonsense tchotchkes that had absolutely no relevance at all to the birth of our Savior, and even gifts for the family pet.  As if.

I found the same situation at other retail outlets.  There may have been one or two vague, one-dimensional, and poorly proportioned representations of the Holy Family, such as stuff one places in the yard (like the deer who often wind up posed in provocative mating rituals), but no Nativity scene.

Growing up, my dad, ever the craftsman, carefully and lovingly made several crèches—tabletop-sized displays of the Nativity (he made the barn part; my mom found the principals somewhere and I always found them fascinating).  Not sure where those beautifully made stables ended up, but whoever has them, take care of them (and if you have two, holla).  Because you won’t find anything like that ever again.

I finally found a Nativity scene at Kohl’s and guess what?  It was half off.

(Aside:  Why doesn’t Kohl’s just price their items at the current sale price?  The jig is up.  You’re not fooling anyone.)

This Nativity scene is white with gold accents, and the oxen are whimsical-looking, but at least they have ears.  Baby Jesus has one foot kicking out of his little nest, and I thought that was adorable.  But here’s the thing.

Kohl’s has an enormous space dedicated to their Christmas products, but there were only two varieties of Nativity scenes.  Again, like it’s lesser-educated drunk uncle across the street, Kohl’s had the Disney-themed crap, the sports-themed ornaments, the Dickensian villages (never quite got the allure of the “village” thing), and a few other secular items that had nothing to do with the birth of our Savior.

I get that Christmas means different things to different people.  What I don’t get is that there is not equal time given to the actual reason for the celebration.  And yes, I get, too, that Jesus was most likely born on a day that was not December 25, but that’s when we metaphorically blow out the candles on His birthday cake.  You got any better ideas?

I found my Nativity scene.  But the problem should have been that there were so many varieties in so many different retail establishments that I lost my mind trying to make a decision about which one I would proudly display in my home for the next 20 years.

*Full disclosure:  There is very little about Disney that I like.  Get over it.

Miss Guided

You know something?  Not everybody looks good when they take off their clothes …

Lena Dunham makes my skin crawl; however, I’m not going to go so far as to say she offends me.  I pride myself on the fact that I am seldom if ever offended by anything.  In my world, those who are perpetually offended by people, their remarks, their choices, or their actions are buying into the zeitgeist of victimhood.

Having made that proclamation, let me say that Lena Dunham’s latest video (albeit being marketed as a spoof) where she raps about her BFF Hillary Clinton, tongue in cheek or not, is going to come back to bite her fat ass.  After I watched it, all I could think of was that even Clinton’s supporters are doing a collective face-palm.  Would you really want her on your side?  Because in the worst possible way, Lena Dunham represents the worst ideals of liberal ideology.  When I think of the body of Americans who identify as liberal or who belong to the Democrat party, I’m pretty sure that not all of them rally behind Lena Dunham’s misappropriated tribute to their candidate, her morbid, obsessive, and worshipful love affair with Planned Parenthood, or her contempt for any man who doesn’t find her do-able.

Or, maybe they do.

You see, Miss Dunham resides in that artificial world where actively hating everything that is considered a mainstay of traditional American values is part of her brand.  That’s how she gets everyone’s attention.  Her latest attack on straight white men would be ridiculous if there weren’t others out there who are swayed by Dunham’s relentless bullying of the vanilla establishment.  In her world, unless you’re LGBTQ, had an abortion, or think that climate change is the sole responsibility of the same straight white men she wishes were extinct, you can’t possibly expect to be treated with any modicum of respect or acknowledged as a contributing member of society.  She’s the savior of the progressive movement.  She’s the stalwart champion of all those who have been hapless victims of the same slice of society she so enthusiastically despises.

The utter lack of tolerance Lena Dunham has for those who don’t endorse her particular brand of misanthropy screams irony.  Look, it’s okay to be edgy, different, to march to a completely alternative drummer, but it’s not okay nor is it very tolerant to spew hatred at what you perceive to be the establishment, but in reality is the foundation of our very culture.  Not everybody’s queer, most rational people don’t take off their clothes to get attention, and for the love of all that is holy, ending your sentences with an upward inflection suggests that even you are not sure about what you are saying.

Not that I have any skin in the game (she’s not my kid, thankfully) but I can’t help but wonder if she could have made a more positive and rational impact upon those causes she champions if she used her powers for good.  Go ahead and be a Hillary fangirl if that’s how you swing politically, but understand, too, that if you’re preaching tolerance, you might want to steer clear of suggesting that the world would be a better place if an entire segment of that world’s population—straight white men—would become extinct.

But what am I saying?  I take it all back.  Go ahead and make an ass of yourself, dear.  It’s working.  For me, anyway.

Oh to be young and ignorant …

You see, it’s all fun and games until you realize you’ve got nothing of substance on your opponent and you’re so desperate to deflect attention from your most obvious crimes that—with quite a bit of help from the media—you’ll take the risk of going there.

Continue reading Oh to be young and ignorant …

Keeping up with why people care about Kim Kardashian

Why is it that we care so much about people we don’t even know?

 

Continue reading Keeping up with why people care about Kim Kardashian

A victory for women?

Abortion has become the scepter of the feminist, the talisman against oppression and male dominance, the badge of honor of the progressive left.

Hillary Clinton gleefully and smugly called it a “… victory for women!” Yesterday, SCOTUS ruled to strike down a Texas law requiring abortion clinics to become safer (thereby holding them to somewhat higher standards than a CVS Minute Clinic), calling it an “undue burden” for women.   Yes, according to the Democratic nominee for President of the United States, it is a victory for women that abortion clinics do not have to rise to the same standards as a facility where one might have their wisdom teeth removed.

Only we’re not talking about removing wisdom teeth, and therein lies the bigger issue.

The reason for the court’s ruling?  Should the Texas law have remained in effect, a number of sub-standard abortion facilities in the Lone Star state would have had to either be closed or refurbished to meet the higher standards of care—much like a hospital.  Physicians performing abortions would be required to have privileges at nearby hospitals in cases where complications may arise.  All of this regulation would, according to SCOTUS, make it more difficult for women to access health care.

I call bullshit.

The law would have limited the number of abortions in the state of Texas, so by striking down the legislation, SCOTUS has effectively sanctioned more abortions.  Obviously it’s not women they care about, it’s the issue of abortion.  Abortion has become the scepter of the feminist, the talisman against oppression and male dominance, the badge of honor of the progressive left.  They don’t care to know how the actual surgical procedure is carried out, nor do they concern themselves with the moral, ethical, or spiritual implications of abortion itself—no, what’s more important to them are the memories of their bygone struggle to attain and their present commitment to maintain the right of a woman to have an unborn baby viciously sucked out of her uterus.  It’s never been about women’s health care.

A victory for women?  Hardly.  A victory for the progressive left?  Absolutely.

Worst of all, a sad, tragic reminder that there remains a sector of our society that simply does not value life.

Sidebar:  For those conservatives who have decided not to vote in November because Donald Trump doesn’t fit into their milquetoast ideology of what a Republican nominee should look like, understand that the next president will most likely be nominating 3-4 justices for the Supreme Court.  Do you really want Hillary Clinton to be making those choices for you?