Friday, December 27, 2013

Santa, Baby: I want people to get some humility, manners and oh, yeah, read a book to get perspective!

This year, I was tempted to go sit on Santa's knee. I was at the Mall, saw the line, had the urge to push those kids aside and declare what I want.
I am too old for that, some would say. But I was sorely tempted. After all, I know no child who ever approached the bearded guy with anything other than trepidation. I have none. He would value that. Men do, we writers of erotic romance understand that.
Why would I make a spectacle of myself and sit on Santa's knee? Would I tell him I write erotica? No, no. Not where I go with this. It would be because I WANT things for Christmas.

1. All those folks out there in la-la land who think that connecting with the Yin-Yang of the world comes from constantly looking at themselves (NAVELS, anyone?) lack perspective.

Dare I add, they need a little humility.
If one more person tells me they are due a reward for being good this year, I will smack them.
You get what you give.
No give to others, no get anything in return.
And here, I am not talking about giving away money. I speak only of giving  talents and time to those less fortunate.
Rescue a homeless dog or cat.
Work at a soup kitchen for a day.
And no, donating your old jeans to Good Will does not qualify.

2. I want people to learn that compromise is not a dirty word.

I'm tired of being bullied by my opposite political persuasion. Yes, I'd love to have time with my loved ones over the holidays without a diatribe about:
  • Santa Claus's race
  • healthcare
  • Iran vis a vis Israel
  • tax rates.
Even a local money management firm here in San Antonio runs political ads of the Wild Eyed Crazy type on their electronic billboard next to lines like: Merry Christmas! Good Will Toward Men. My response is: well, brother, what have you done to foster good will toward men lately?

Truth is: If I ran my decades' old marriage the way the two political parties in this country have NOT run this country and taught the rest of us to:

a) interrupt each other when we talk,
b) disparage anything the other says that is opposite theirs,
c) demand they get their way all the freaking time, I would not be married…or in love with ANYone.

And then we could move on to other great discussions to include items that disparage the divorce rate, lagging birth rate and the failing educational system which cannot teach a child to tolerate any other because they have no role models!

3. I want more people to read a damn book.

Do you know that since approximately the mid-1980s, the average college graduate in the USA reads one book a year. 
Fiction. Non. Who cares? Right. No one.
No. One. Cares. To. Educate. Themselves.
Are we all so busy playing video games? Texting? Buying stuff like shea butter and yoga toes sox, and Williams Sonoma peppermint bark mix?
That's what we do with our time.
And we are the educated ones.
Recently, another study told us that people who read fiction, have more compassion for others. They can identify with others' challenges. I say to them, BRING IT ON.
I want to clone you.
We need more readers in this country and God knows, we need more compassion.
One of every 5 children goes to bed hungry in this country. One out of 5.
Think about that.  Every fifth child you see on the sidewalk…or standing in line for Santa.
Pitiful. And yet, I do hear from people who have a college education and should know better, that this is the children's families' fault that they cannot eat well. REALLY? These children do not eat well because their parents have no money to put a decent meal on the table. They work 2-4 jobs and still can't make ends meet. They have to TRAVEL miles to get to a large grocery store and traveling costs bus money, at the very least.
Of the roughly 250,000 in San Antonio who earn below the poverty line, 180,000 of them work. They are not free-loaders.
Let's get more intelligent about how we airbrush the less fortunate in this country. Airbrushing is for women's magazines, not public policy.

4. And speaking of women's magazines, I want Santa to FIRE all those editors who publish stories which begin with: How To Get Your Man To…

THIS is what I fought for when I told my corporate boss I would not take that big promotion unless he also gave me the salary my male predecessor earned?

THIS is what I need my own daughter to read when I have a wonderful proliferation of women's fiction, romance novels and yes, erotica for women to choose from which will hopefully educate them and inspire them to grow a pair of cojones in dealing with men????

Women's magazines that purport to tell a woman how to capture The Elusive Male are so full of 1950s delusions. Where is Betty Friedan when you need her?

This stuff went out with girdles.

But wait! Now we have Spanx. 

Can we girls never get our $hit together???

5. Finally, I do want a good gin and tonic. I need a double.

Furthermore, when you come to my house this year for our wine tasting, please do not bring that $5 bottle. That is an insult. (Remember, I'm serving great nibbles…cuz I am honoring our friendship. Reciprocate.)

Fine taste and good manners are still appreciated. And I want more people to think twice about how to honor their friends. 

Humility. Charity. Integrity. Good manners.

All I wanted for Christmas.

Give it to me. All Year Long!


KarennaC said...

I'm completely on board with you about the compassion thing. I know people who work at least one full-time job but can't afford the basics. I know people who are disabled to the point of being unable to work, who rely on food stamps that don't give them enough to buy healthy food, so they feed their kids canned vegetables and ramen, and don't eat anything themselves so their kids won't go hungry. These people are not lazy; if your body has failed you to the point that you're barely able to get out of bed in the morning, you probably can't hold a job. And yet these people are lumped in as "welfare babies who just want to live off the sweat of those who work."
Sorry... you've got me on a rant now. LOL. This is something that hits very close to home for me; until I moved in with my current husband, I was raising two kids by myself, working full time, but still had to rely on food stamps and government medical assistance--and I was constantly judged and insulted for it. And now I'm one of the people whose bodies has failed, but I'm blessed to have my writing to bring in some income, and to have a spouse who's willing to work two jobs to make sure my kids and I don't go without.
Those of us who "have" would do well to be thankful as hell for it, and to offer support--whether financial or verbal--to those who are struggling. We don't know their stories; how is it our right to judge?

Tina Donahue said...

Awesome post, Cerise - so true.

Karenna, I agree with you. The meanness in this country is staggering, and it's sickening that it's being held up as being honorable.

I read an article last week where a politician claimed that Jesus was against charity, that Jesus wanted everyone to fend for themselves.

I'm not religious at all. However, that comment struck me as seriously deluded.

We can't starve the people in this country all in the name of the CEOs and corporations making obscene amounts of money.

When people can no longer afford to eat or feed their kids, there will be outrage, and it's not going to be pretty.

Fiona McGier said...

But ugliness and bigotry are in fashion these days! It's been said that Americans don't vote their situation, they vote their aspiration. They want politicians to make things easy for rich folks to stay rich, because someday they're going to be rich. I think it was Mark Twain who said poor
Americans think of themselves as "temporarily inconvenienced rich folks". And Kurt Vonnegut in "Slaughterhouse Nine" had a character explain that Americans hate the poor because they really believe that anyone can become rich if they just work hard enough. So when they are poor they hate themselves. The reality is that money goes to money, and rich folks will always have more money because of whose sperm and egg connected to create them...not because they are inherently "better" than everyone else. They just won the "genetic lottery". The rest of us will labor long and hard, mostly in obscurity. And die as poor as we were born. But we will spend our lives blaming ourselves for it, as if riches were just hanging on trees all around us, and we were too lazy to reach up to grab them.

I've seen a poster that had Jesus on the mountain surrounded by the poor and it had the slogan-- Updated: Jesus looks around and says "Your poverty disgusts me! Get a job you losers!" Unfortunately that's the way most churches act these days. Ghandi was the one who said, "I like your Christ. It's your Christians I don't understand."

But I'm preaching to the choir here, since writers are by definition, well-read. Let's hope for a bit more sanity in the new year, but as me faither would say, "I hae me doots!" (I have my doubts--I'll believe it when I see it.)

Susana Ellis said...

Cerise, you GO, girl! I'm so tired of the religious right complaining about the war on Christmas and being offended by people saying Happy Holidays and acting like religion is being attacked in this country. Really? You can't drive anywhere in the south without being bombarded with preachers and conservative hate-mongers. My next car will have satellite radio!!!

Bigots have always existed, in recent years, they've been spouting their hate and stupidity at press conferences! It's sad to see what is happening to our country. The rest of world laughs at us.

Cerise DeLand said...

DEAR ALL, forgive me for not arriving here sooner to say thank you for your comments, your level-headedness and your insights to what ails us here.
I have always felt very fortunate to live in the USA. There but for the grace of god, go I and all that! But we have serious challenges here when many of our own citizens starve while others feast, as many of our children do not receive good public school educations and as many of our adult citizens do not read even one book.
I am afraid that we are truly unraveling here and wish we could collectively agree to mend our wounds/fences and find a way to solve our problems…without starving 1/4 of our citizens and our children physically or intellectually!
THANKS TO ALL OF YOU WHO CAME AND READ and nodded in agreement!