MADititude-a-thon day 938: IT’S TIME TO JUST FUCKING SAY NO

“Boys will be boys.”

“Locker room banter.”

“I said it, but I didn’t mean it.”

With the surfacing of the “hot mic,” tapes, we as both women and men have to decide whether we’re willing to elect a man who so blatantly, disrespectfully and unapologetically believes women can be treated like a cat treats catnip.

Donald Trump seems to be saying that because Bill Clinton treated women disrespectfully, it’s ok for him to do so, as well. Bill Clinton paid dearly, by going through impeachment hearings, if I remember correctly. Also, by the way, BILL CLINTON IS NOT RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT. But more importantly, it doesn’t mean his behavior was a good thing. And it doesn’t and shouldn’t mean we should allow this kind of behavior to continue. 

Isn’t it time to say no? We’re at the point where a strong  woman is running for president, having an equal shot at the biggest job in the land, so isn’t it time we stopped sweeping this kind of male behavior under the rug with an exhausted giggle and a knowing roll of the eyes? Isn’t it time to change the acceptability of men treating women as something they can manipulate in the name of power? Isn’t it time we as women stopped thinking this is something we just have to put up with to get by?

I sent my 21 year old son a text that told him he can never talk about women the way Donald Trump has (and continues to) talk to and about women. I told him that he was above that and better than that. Every mother needs to remind their sons of this right now. Because we have to start somewhere in making this issue history. I know loads of men, including my husband, who speak about and to women respectfully. I’m not trying to get down on males in general. I’m trying to say that this is a moment to look at the behavior our male presidential candidate displays and make some decisions about how we as a country want to move forward, how we as a country want to respond.


We have an opportunity, men and women, to make a change that’s needed to be made for a long, long, long time. Men just have to stop being given a pass when they treat, or talk about women in sexually degrading ways.  It’s happened to me, and I’m guessing it’s happened to every woman I know in one way or another.

With our votes, we can speak. Let’s say something that matters.

gratitude-a-thon day 937: inspiring teacher project

Teachers at Oak Park H.S. bring students to tears as they tell them individually how important they are

I saw this video on social media the other day and it really knocked my socks off (and yes, I have already worn socks a few times this season, and yesterday afternoon it was 57 and I wore a down coat to walk Riley BECAUSE I WAS FREEZING). Anyway, give it a couple minutes. It’s a good one. Gratitude to the teachers of Oak Park High School. You get an A.

gratitude-a-thon day 936:does your candidate have what it takes


If you are an undecided voter:

Here’s the thing. I understand that many people want change in our country. So many of us are tired of Washington’s same old, same old, and we wonder if there could be something, someone better who could stir things up, break through the quagmire of epic BS. Issues on the table range from lack of good jobs, racism,  law and order seeming to be non-existent, terrorist attacks that are terrifying, taxes, and the disappearance of the middle class, just to name a few.

Donald Trump wants us to believe that he is the change, that he is a political outsider who will build walls to keep terrorists out, and use his business acumen to keep jobs in. He wants us to believe he will make America great again, although the specifics are not very specific. He has treated women with disrespect over and over and over again not only during this campaign, but during his life. He thinks immigrants, who have helped to build this country, should go home. He is wildly impulsive. He cannot seem to accept being wrong, and cannot resist sparring with anyone who makes him feel that he is. He has eluded paying Federal Taxes for 18 years. His past experience has been as a realtor, developer and reality show host.

Hillary Clinton is not perfect. I wish she were more inspiring. I wish she hadn’t had the email mishap, or that Benghazi hadn’t gone down the way it did, but this candidate, the most qualified candidate who has ever run for president, is a lawyer, spent eight years, as the first lady, eight years as a senator from New York, and four years as the secretary of state. This woman has devoted her life to public service. Has she made mistakes? Of course she has. But I wonder, and this is really important to consider, what politician hasn’t made mistakes in a tenure as long as Hillary’s.

The facts about Hillary are these: she knows how to work with both sides of the aisle because she has successfully done so. She knows policy as well as she knows her daughter’s birthday. She has met with and knows foreign leaders throughout the world. She knows how to behave like an adult, how to think, before speaking. She is smart, consistently thoughtful and strong.

Please consider whether or not the change you want is Donald Trump. Maybe the change you want isn’t available this go round. Maybe it will have to wait until 2020. I understand this is not an ideal solution, but the presidency is a vitally important job. It’s not good enough to hope that the candidate you vote for will be ok. It’s imperative to know they can do the job with intelligence, patience and strength. This is the only job in our country where the employed is in a position to destroy civilization with the press of a button. At the end of the day, that’s something to consider long and hard. Does your candidate have the ability to stop and think before acting?


May the best man or woman win.

gratitude-a-thon day 935: empty nest update, this is harder than I thought

Empty Nest Update: Day 37

A lot of times, I forget that it’s just Peter and Riley here in the house. My body and mind is so used to the kid’s schedules, their rhythms, their voices, that sometimes I don’t remember they’re gone. Then it will hit me like a jolt, like that shot Uma Thurman gets when she OD’s in Pulp Fiction,  and it seems wrong and I feel panic in my gut, like there are a bunch of Riverdancing butterflies in there.

I miss the kids a lot, but we’re lucky to see Ally at her weekly games, which is a little slice of heaven for us (especially with Jake 2,500 miles from here). But that’s separate from my predominant feeling, which is how a job I had for 22 year could simply one day come to an END. I feel like one of those lifers at a big corporate company who gets laid off and wanders out of the building with a box full of moments looking for his future.

I wish I was Peggy Olson-ing it here, with this loss of mom employment, but I’m not.

I’ve never understood the time continuum, and given my math skills, I’m sure I never will, but honestly, it feels impossible that all those years have left the station. I hate being so ordinary, but here it is, my kids are in college, and I can’t believe it. I mean, COULD I BE MORE CLICHE?

We are creatures of habit. I got used to being a mom, and yeah, yeah, I know that I am still one and will always be one, but the days of kids living in my house is over, and getting used to it is a lot harder than I thought.


gratitude-a-thon day 934: Life, Animated

Is anybody besides me moldy from all this rain?

Peter and I watched a fascinating movie last night called Life, Animated. It’s the story of a family who’s son was developmentally like any other toddler his age,  until the age of three, when he stopped talking, and was ultimately diagnosed with Autism. The film uses real home movies, and interviews to recount the journey, but also uses incredibly beautiful illustration and animation.

But here’s the kicker and what makes this story so interesting–at about age seven or eight, the family, who spends a lot of time watching animated Disney films together, because it calms Owen and is something they can actually do together, says a whole sentence and that sentence is, “Walt (his brother, who has just celebrated a birthday) doesn’t want to grow up like Peter Pan and Mogley.” His parents cannot believe it, totally freak out, and realize that Owen is in there, and processing the world through Disney animated films. This is, of course, amusing, but it’s also amazing, because this boy has found a way to understand his world and begin to communicate. It’s a remarkable story, and an important one in helping to unlock some of the mysteries of Autism.

Gratitude for parents who go the distance in good times and difficult situations. Here’s to the Suskind’s for sharing their story, and to their incredible son, Owen.