Sunday, July 24, 2022

Donald Trump and my family

Yes, another post about Trump. I am sick of him and wish he would just disappear from the national landscape. But, like any good narcissist, he just won't go.

Of course I'm disgusted by the way he behaved between November 3 and January 6. While many of us -- including ME! -- were battling covid, he was busy trying to overthrow the very government he took an oath to lead. Appalling.

But that's not what this post is about. It's about my family, and the deleterious impact he has had on us.

My nephew. He is smart. He is passionate. He is just the kind of young person you want getting involved in the system. He just graduated with a degree in political science from Western Illinois University, and he's not going to use it. Even though he graduated in an election year.

Guess why.

He's watched life-long Republicans, Trump supporters and Trump employees, testify about the January 6 riot. Yet half the country isn't watching or doesn't care. Half the country has somehow convinced themselves that all these people, testifying under oath, are lying. Or that having your President encourage a riot isn't such a bad thing.

My nephew is so disheartened that he has given up. He once dreamed of working for a congressman and helping shape policy. But because of the misplaced and blind loyalty of the MAGAverse, he sees no point.

He did say he's interested in becoming a volunteer at the polls on election day. The way Trump publicly bullied Shaye Moss and her mother has motivated him. So I suppose that there's always a silver lining to every Trumpy cloud.

My cousin. Last week he found a black-and-white Polaroid of himself at age 3 on our grandfather's lap. A new grandfather himself, it meant a great deal to him. Our grandfather was a great man -- patriotic in that special way immigrants often are, compassionate, curious and loving -- and his grandchildren miss him. In the photo, my cousin looks eerily like Grandpa. Same receding hairline, even same eyeglass frames! 

My aunt -- my cousin's mom and Grandpa's only surviving child -- hasn't seen this picture. Not because she wouldn't love it. Because they aren't talking. Because, in her full-throated support of Trump, she revealed herself, in her son's words, as "a homophobic racist." She is very vocal, and it is very disheartening for my cousin to hear the woman who insisted he go to Sunday School every week behave in such an un-Christian way. 

My aunt has never held her first great-grandchild. Her once favorite granddaughter -- who is also appalled by the hate her grandmother spewed toward gays and BLM -- graduated cum laude this past spring and her grandmother doesn't even know.

This is tragic. 

I am a decade older than my cousin. I remember my aunt when she was still in her teens, and kept JFK's picture on her nightstand. I believe that inclusive, sensitive girl who once believed you should ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country is still in there somewhere. Of course, I don't have to square the circle of hypocrisy that my cousin does. 

I hope her red MAGA cap is worth it.

Even more, I hope she can STFU long enough -- stubbornness is a family trait we all share -- to reach out and heal this breach. I hope that if she does, my cousin has the wisdom to accept this olive branch. My aunt is over 75. I don't know how much time she and my cousin believe they have to fix this.

And I wish Donald Trump would just stop trying to defend his indefensible behavior, quit throwing gas on the fire, quit insisting his election lie is the truth ... just quit. 

Leave us alone, please!

Sunday Stealing


1. What's something you've recently accomplished solo. Self care. I'm trying to baby myself this weekend. I had a busy workweek last week and am looking at a tough one this week. If I don't accomplish much this weekend, that's OK.

2.  What's one product you use that never ever fails? 

These paper towels may well be the love of my life

3. Have you found your place in the world? Where is it? I think I've found myself, unexpectedly, in the world of classic film. I didn't expect to. I found my movie group Meet Up completely by accident. I was looking up Meet Ups for my dear old friend in Los Angeles, and every time I completed a search in her zip code, the site reverted to mine. From that accident I met Will, our moderator, and two friends I now see away from the group: Joanna (I owe her an email) and Elaine (I owe her an email, too). 

Will convinced me to go to Hollywood for the TCM Classic Film Festival in 2019 and I was delighted to find myself in my element. I met people I kept up with through Facebook and when we all got together again this past Spring, it was almost as good to meet them again as it was to see the movies on the big screen. One woman, Trudy, pulled me aside and told me she was so sorry to read my Facebook posts about the death of my cat, Reynaldo. How kind was that!


Can you spot me in there?

And, of course, there's the movies. In this community, I can indulge my passion for Judy Garland and Frank Sinatra. (Really, when they were on their games they were so extravagantly good we didn't deserve them.) I learned that Elizabeth Taylor was so much more than a much-married bejeweled celebrity, and Rock Hudson was more than an AIDS victim. And that, with all due respect to Meryl Streep, Katharine Hepburn is the GOAT.

4.  Worst movie you ever saw? Frankie and Johnny, starring Elvis. Now I grade Elvis movies on a curve, but even allowing for that, it's dreadful. Not enjoyably bad, like Valley of the Dolls. Just unwatchable. Boring.

5. What's the last fun thing you did? Yesterday I gossiped with my friend John. He hangs around at a local bar, playing Norm to a nice 72-year-old man we'll call Cliff. It seems Cliff had fallen hard for the 27-year-old bartender. She works a couple days of week to augment her earnings as a newly-licensed realtor. Seems most people want to look at homes in the evening, anyway. So sometimes at the end of her shift, she and Cliff would go to dinner. She viewed these quick meals as a bite with a friend. Cliff believed he was making inroads to her heart. John tried to warn Cliff. Anyway, last week Cliff watched as a very nice looking, far younger man hit on her, and she responded positively. At the end of her shift, not wanting her afternoon with this man to end, she invited him to enjoy her and Cliff for dinner. Cliff was furious and heartbroken. John told this story very well, with great compassion for all three involved, and everything from his insights to his word choices reminded me why he's such an entertaining friend.

6. What's your favorite Italian dish? Manicotti. Prepared properly, it's divine.

7. Have you ever been to France? Any desire to visit there, and if so what would site or city would you most want to see? I went to France when I was still a teenager. I loved Monmarte. I saw Moulin Rouge, but was too young to go in. Seeing the Mona Lisa and the Arc de Triomphe was a thrill, too. Funny, but I really have no desire to be a world traveler. If I'm going to take a long flight again, I'd rather see Anchorage or return to Honolulu. I want to see the USA first.

8. Have you ever been to Disney, any of the parks at all? Are you a Disney superfan or something less than that? They're open right now so tell us, would you go if you had the time/money/a free trip? I've been to Disneyland and DisneyWorld. I had a wonderful time. I enjoy rides, so I'm a natural. I'd love to go back -- for free. Maybe I'd take my nephew.

9. Your favorite place to go when you want to be quiet as a church mouse? Would those who know you well describe you as more church mouse or perhaps more like mighty mouse? I like my own company and I'm happy to be home alone. When I go out, I'm very verbal (OK, blabby) but then I go home, power down and recharge.

10. Do you bake your own bread? Last time you had hot out-of-the-oven homemade bread? What's your favorite kind of bread? I have never baked bread. I will never break bread.

11. What's something you might say is 'the greatest thing since sliced bread'? BASEBALL! I really missed it during the All-Star Break.

12.  Share with us five little things you're grateful for today. Small blessings. One catch-they all must start with the letter T.

Tranquility: I have a quiet day planned

Talent: I'm going to finish watching the HBO Max documentary about Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward

Thrift: I'm under-budget for the weekend. Yay, me! 

Thrills: Lots of baseball today -- Cubs/Phillies and Yankees/Orioles

Tide: It works so well and it's laundry day

13. Tell us where you were and something about what life was like when you were 20-21. I was always broke. I loved my little 3-room apartment in a courtyard building. But on summer day like this, I was afraid to turn on the a/c because of what it would do to my electric bill. My paychecks just never went far enough.

I lived behind the tree, center right

14. What's on the menu at your house this week? Don't know. Two nights this week I'll be in the city, so I might grab something on the go.

15.Something you recently purchased where a coupon was involved? Do you regularly shop with coupons? Coupons are the only reason I return to CVS as often as I do. There's one in my wallet right now.