Friday, January 25, 2013

Life March

Today, while I was waitressing, a customer came in and asked me to get him a table for four. No big deal...that's the job, right? As soon as his "party" joined him, I realized that his party was a group of Right to Life marchers, taking a lunch break from their stint outside the local Planned Parenthood. Let me start by saying that I believe we all have a right to our opinons and, as Americans, we have a right to protest those things which we find objectionable. This man and his party absolutely had a right to stand in the cold and rain objecting to something they can't tolerate within their own lives. Where I went a little numb with recollection and anger, was where their rights infringed on my own and left me in an all too familiar position of powerlessness. I sat them at their table. As it happened, they were in my section and therefore mine to wait on. I greeted them and even offered to put their signs in an out of the way location (mostly because of the grotesque and obviously photoshopped images on the sign, but also because the signs were in the walkway and OSHA would have a cow). The conversastion went something like this:
Me: Welcome to *************. Are you having a pleasant day? It sure is wet outside, would you like to start with coffee?
Guy 1: That sounds good.
Me; Also, I noticed that your signs are hanging into our walk way. Would you allow me to put them in our employee breakroom while you eat? I just don't want anyone tripping over them.
Guy 1: No...I think we'll keep them handy. Are they offensive to you?
Me: I just wanted to make everyone in the resteraunt comfortable. If you want to keep them, can you slide them under the table a bit and make sure they're not in the walk way?
Guy 2: (who hasn't said a "hello" or "goodmorning" or "F/U") We HAVE A RIGHT TO HAVE THESE SIGNS! You can't take away our first ammendment right! Guy 1: If they make you uncomfortable, then maybe you need to get right with God?
Ok. For starters, I think I'm as right with God as I am going to be until thought and prayer rectifies what was done to me in God's name for so many years. But, aside from that, what the heck? I'm just a waitress. I greet you and seat you. Not to be rude, but to me, you're a customer whether you're pro-choice or pro-life...I hate to even say that I don't care what you long as I'm doing my job and you're satisfied with the service and the food- we're all happy. The signs did, in fact, make me uncomfortable. ---- Because, the signs were laden with half-truths and scare tactics and had pictures of mangled fetuses in varying (and horribly mislabled) stages of growth. It just wasn't appropriate and it was unsafe.
Me: Sir, your signs are your signs, of course. As long as you move them out of the serving lanes and customer walk ways, you can do with them what you like. Guy 1: I think I need to speak to your manager.
Now, I'm lucky. My manager backed me up 100% and reitterated the issue.
Guy 2: We understand you're just trying to keep everyone safe. We'll put them in our car.
WTF!?! Um. Seriously? Was it because he was male? This whole day really took me back to an unhappy place. I remember being very, very young and bundled up in the sleety, cold morning to go stand on some corner holding signs I didn't understand. I remember shouting "No more!" even thought I didn't know what I was objecting to. I was a small child, after all. As a Gothard child, I didn't know what a uterus was unless it related to someone elses' right to decide who got to inhabit it. I don't even think I knew I had a uterus until much later. But, the point of having me stand outside in the cold, waving signs wasn't to make anyone think about the real problems with population control or birth control or womens' rights. The point was to put forth an adorable child to make those unsure of their beliefs feel guilt over choices they may have made. The point was to show other parents that our parents were holier and more devoted to God than yours because our parents placed their fear of God over our comfort. Our parents wanted to protect the potential child in your uterus more than they wanted to protect us from a car sliding just a foot to the right on an icy road. Our parents wanted YOU to feel bad that we had to stand in the cold for your sin. I even remember my dad telling a younger sibling to take off a scarve and mittens because we were supposed "to be making a point". We stood on milk crates with signs detailing mangled fetuses because our parents figured out that they couldn't control someone elses' sex life. How pathetic? And now, these guys were going to put real, living, breathing, walking, talking humans in danger because their precious signs meant more than the safety of their servers. Again, if as an adult you want to protest, then protest. But, don't use your kids and don't put other people in danger for your protest. These marches on Washington don't stop abortions- they're simply self-congratulatory, "look at me, I'm so righteous", group arrogrance. If you want to stop women from choosing abortion, then go volunteer to help battered women. Go give a struggling single mom a hand. Work towards better schools and better care for the children that are already here. Work toward legislation that would make adoption more feasible for people. DO SOMETHING besides standing there waving a sign! At the end of the meal, I did my obligatory sweep back to the table to check on my guests. One of them asked me if I was pro-life or pro-choice. I was honestly taken aback because it seemed inappropriate. I asked if they really wanted to know what I thought? They said yes. I told them I support women and children period. I told them that taking a black-and-white side was the wrong way to help women and children. They didn't leave me a tip. Instead, I got a pro-life trading card.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Happy New Year

Happy 2013! Wow. It has been a strange two weeks. First, and absolutely foremost, I want two, very kind readers. I'm not sure if you want your names out there but you know who you are. Your donation seriously helped me out of a very dark place emotionally. Getting a room for a night and getting a hot shower and a regular bed were a true shot in the arm. It also gave me a worry free night to strategize and figure out what I was doing wrong. I know there have been many questions so I'll do my best to answer them. <b>How did you get homeless? Yes. I lost trailer I was living in. Basically, and some of this was my bad for not really reading the lease agreement that I signed, the owner of the trailer was allowing me to live on the land, in the trailer, because I was keeping an eye on the place in addition to/or in exchange for/ a pretty good reduced rent. Because I was working almost all of the time, I wasn't there when some of his possessions went missing and he felt that that violated the spirit of our agreement and he gave me a week's notice to vacate before he had someone to replace me. I had to get out pretty quick. What I didn't really understand was how hard it would be to afford an apartment or qualify with my almost non-existant credit history. I'm still working on it. For the moment, I've swallowed my pride and opened up a dialogue with a member of Harris' family and she is letting me sublet a room in her rental home. But, for about a month, I was living in my very small car and in shelters. You do what you have to do and while I am not proud of it- it happened and now I won't make the same mistakes. Are you sure you're not cyclically depressed, Mary? I also applied for a program that gives free mental health assistance to low income people. I explained my situation and basically sat in the office during a day off and the lady got tired of me. :) She set me up with a therapist and a volunteer psychiatrist who put me back on an antidepressant. The devil's medication. ;) I guess I need the devil because I'm doing much better in terms of my outlook on life. I'm beginning to understand that I will probably deal with depression and lack of faith in myself my entire life. My new therapist did recommend that I start blogging or journaling more regularly. Her take was different than my initial therapists rationale though. The new therapist (we'll call her Julia) thinks that blogging keeps me "in the world" and gives me feedback that I need (good and bad) to evaluate my progress. She also thinks that I will find self-worth in giving my story to others as a cautionary tale and I do agree with that. What say you, readers? Has my blog helped you or anyone you know parent better or avoid QF/ATI? Do you need financial help or help budgeting? My husband and I had horrible financial problems when we were young. Email me if you need help making a plan. I do need help in all ways financially. I tried having my student loans deferred, but since I'm working two jobs they want their money. I financed all of my education and lifestyle for those long years and I have a huge debt to pay. My payments are over $200 a month. Since my resolution is to be less secretive or ashamed of my issues. I'll share that my bills are as follows: Student loans: $200 New rent: $300 (for one room) Food: $170 Medicine: $68 Car related things: $300 Clothing and things for living: $100 I make about $1400 between two waitressing jobs.