Are We There Yet?

Yeah About That:

Are we There Yet?

“I've learned that life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes.” ― Andy Rooney*

I quoted this to Notta Louden the last time she commented on how fast the days go. She agreed, but pointed out both of us have been up to our femoral shafts in follow-up doctor appointments. My blood seems a bit off, so more tests have to run. Notta’s problem is a potential female problem that apparently needs frequent rechecks at increasing specialist co-pay levels.

“My husband keeps telling me it’s not something you fool around with,” she told me. “What he forgets is that I’m NOT fooling around with it. I’m LIVING with it. It’s my legs in the stirrups, and my cells getting mined like they were gold nuggets. And if, G-d forbid, something goes wrong, I’m still the one who has to live with it.”

“Perhaps he’s saying he doesn’t want to live without you.”

She chuckled. “You’re such a romantic.”

“Aren’t you?”

“Nah, I’m a people watcher. I watch a lot, but I take my time. I don’t judge right away and I think before I say something.”

“You’ll never be a politician,” I teased.

She grinned. “You say that like it’s a bad thing. But you know what I mean. You reacted and got man-splained to last week, didn’t you?”

I shrugged. “Someone used a knee-jerk opinion of mine to explain his point of view.”

“And you tried to respond. Probably your second mistake. First was when you reacted on Facebook, then you lost when you typed the first letter responding to him. There are some folks who may act like they want your opinion, when all they want is an opening to give theirs.”

“Been a lot of that lately,” I said. “With the shooting in Parkland, Florida, there’s a lot of stuff coming out of the woodwork.”

Notta nodded. “That’s one thing I’ve been holding my own counsel for a while on. Makes me late to the party, but I’d rather think it through before I sound off.

“The news probably wasn’t five minutes old before the old ‘too soon,’ and ‘thoughts and prayers’ nags trotted out to leave their usual stinkin’ loads. What truly bothers me,” she continued, settling into her usual chair, “is that the kids and teachers who were actually THERE are getting drowned out by all the verbal manure. Everybody’s pet neurosis gets to have a say and nobody’s getting any safer. “

“Actually, that’s one thing that gives me hope,” I said. “These amazing teenagers aren’t taking it; they’re speaking out.”

“But are they being heard?” Notta countered. “Those amazing teenagers can’t vote, and I doubt any of them has enough money to buy their representative’s or senator’s attention, let alone the Congressional vote.”

“I suppose that’s where the Congressmen really show their weakness,” I said. “Those teenagers will be voting soon. Maybe not today, maybe not next November, but sooner than these myopic pols realize.

“But they won’t see it; might upset their financial and therefore doctrinal equilibrium. Seems a person (though I would in some way correct to say “A man”) gets elected and s/he can’t see beyond your next pay day. The future is the vote whoever bought her/him orders. Which is almost ironic: so many New Agers say, ‘Live in the now,’ and that’s all this Congress does. No consideration for what may come and who may have to suffer in the future.”

“Now you’re being a pessimist.”

I laughed. “I suppose I am that, too. How many times have you heard me say I’m too old for this crap?”

“Enough to know you don’t always say ‘crap.’”

“True, but what I’m saying is, WHEN will the people who can fix this problem get their heads out of their wallets and listen? WHEN will they find spines and intestinal fortitude or whatever it takes to FIX the problem? And for that matter, WHEN will these pontificators on social media take the time to LISTEN to each other and shelve their knee-jerk reactions?”

“Maybe,” Notta said.

I sighed. “We’re in our 60s. I’ve got blood problems; you’ve got female problems. Still We’ve lived through Vietnam, Nixon, Reaganomics, the Contract On America, 9/11, and more mass shootings since 2000 than ever before. WHEN will it change?”

“I suppose when we arrive at a place of understanding and accepting that life matters more than ideology. Or money.” She tried to smile, not really succeeding.

I tried, too. “So, tell me. Are we there yet?”

*, located and quoted 2/19/2018

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