Category Archives: Legacy

Happy is as Happy does.

Last February, I posted a note on the Fitness Mate blog about The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin.   

At the time, I was still struggling with my “Schugar” v. “Mama” drama.  I wasn’t convinced I’d made a good move to my hometown.  There were a 100 challenges in the finance department.  So setting up a project for myself was exactly the right medicine.

In January of this year, I wrote about the business of getting on with BEING happy instead of looking so damn hard for it.  So obviously this is a theme I like.  I hope I’m not getting into the broken record realm of blog posts.

I don’t buy into the whole “this is my lot in life” mentality.  I don’t think there is a master plan into which you fit.  I don’t think your struggles are your destiny and that there is some great reward for the poor suckers who suffer through.  The Beatitudes are a bum rap to keep the oppressed from changing their station.  It’s a lot like the promise of 7,000 virgins for Jihad martyrs.  And I call ‘Bullshit’.

Everyone deals with a bag of shit at some time in her life.

Some of us experience it early and some of us experience it often.  Dr. Phil has made a fairly successful career pointing out the obvious to people who don’t learn from their mistakes and who wonder why they continually experience the same shit.

The real insight is that only one person in this world is responsible for your happiness.  YOU.

You either make it or you don’t.

You either live it or you don’t.

You either spread it or you don’t.

Nothing anyone can do or say can interfere with your happiness unless you allow it.  That’s the wicked great thing about the incredible complexity of the human mind and spirit.

I’ve lost friends who couldn’t celebrate my happiness with me but chose to spend their time and focus on mourning their perceived missing pieces.  The revelations came harshly but once you’ve seen selfishness  you can’t unsee it.  As with most hindsight, I was able to recognize the signs of pathological Takers only after I’d said goodbye to them.

I’ve heard people complain about having to plan their own happiness, be it weekend activities, trips, dinner parties, birthdays.  Their thinking is why doesn’t someone ELSE do this for me?  My question back is ‘why would you ever put someone else in the driver’s seat of your happiness?

I often repeat a favorite Einstein maxim “There are two ways of living:  as if nothing were a miracle or as if everything is one” and once was rewarded for the statement by being called the anti-Christ.  This was a pretty clear indicator of an unhappy person.

I find that statement a renewed inspiration every time I hear, read or repeat it.  It is so hopeful and grateful a sentiment.

If you’re mourning the loss of Oprah this week, you’ve probably attempted some kind of gratitude exercise during your devotion to the big O.  But isn’t there some irony involved in being taught/reminded to be grateful by a woman who has more money than our Treasury department?   Of course Oprah is grateful, she could buy the Louisiana Purchase and still have change for a West Wing full of Jimmy Choos. 

No, the idea of looking at life as full of miracles is much humbler.  Much simpler. 

Looking at life as full of miracles requires you to part with your baggage. 

Unhappy people are carrying around the belief that they were somehow short-changed.  That their suffering is somehow more significant or mournful than that of others.  The most unhappy people seek out that suffering so that they can justify their own pity party and invite others to join them.

I love love love the question “Who would you be without your story?” as posed by the clever Byron Katie in her books.

I think many of us get so used to the backstory we’ve been told or have been telling ourselves that we forget to rewrite it when it loses shape, no longer fits, or hurts.  As adults we may not grow in physical shape but our personality, spirit, and mind certainly do.  Are you still wearing the story from your youth?  Your 30s?  Your darkest moments?  I hate to tell you, but that is SO five minutes ago.

The most obnoxious sap of happiness are people who project their pain onto you.  You know who I’m talking about.  YOU are the cause of their loneliness, their tears, their absolute desolation.  You have my permission to politely tell them to Fuck Off.

If someone’s happiness is tied to you (and they aren’t a minor) then they have some serious emotional and psychological issues that need to be addressed.  This is not your issue.  It is theirs.

No one has the right to use emotional blackmail to suck you into a vortex of their misery.  No one has the right to antagonize, patronize, or use passive aggression to manipulate you into enabling their story.

Not even your family.

DNA is not a life-sentence.  Happiness means that it is not by obligation that we socialize, but by choice. 

I wish as much happiness as you can find for yourself this weekend. 

If you don’t have a plan for finding some happy, make one.

If your happiness will be magnified by the presence of others, invite them along.

If you aren’t sure what to do next, do happy.

Growing girl

Recently, the hub and I found out that baby #2 is a girl.  Up until then, we’d been saying we win either way – a girl meant we don’t have anything to buy, that we know the plot, that baby #1 will have a fun shadow to teach/torture/tease and a boy meant we could be done with the whole pregnancy thing.

Now that I know, that statement was actually incongruous with how I feel. 

Getting another girl isn’t a consolation prize for me.  This is quite possibly what I was meant to do with my life – raise daughters.

I can remember when I was young, I would opine that I’d want five boys because girls were just too much trouble.  Back then, that was my experience.  Girls WERE trouble.  Girls made my life miserable.  Boys were often dimwits, horndogs or annoyances.  Girls?  Girls were dangerous.

Girls spread rumors and played psychological games.  Girls wielded friendship like Uzies.  Girls were catty and fickle and passive aggressive.  A few standout exceptions aside, it was a world removed from the homogeneous, isolationist Middle where I found a different kind of woman.  I finally understood that not all women need you to be low so they can be high. 

Most of these lessons were hard-learned.

In middle school, it wasn’t my many awards or the intense, shortlived friendships that made me swell with pride – it was my leadership in a successful coup against the top mean girl. 

In high school, my besties were fringe girls – the kind my parents were hesitant about – who listened to the Cure or Al B. Sure.  No matter in what sport or art I dabbled, I was never ever included by popular girls. 

In University, I deigned to pledge a sorority.  Parties?  Sports?  Elected leadership?  I couldn’t sign up fast enough.  But the night before I went active, despite my rank as the pledge with highest points, I was very ceremonially dismissed.  I can only point to my tenuously composed diatribe of curses to the sanctimonious president and her wholly unconvincing panel of henchwomen before I exited that house and entered my life as both legend and outcast as a positive takeaway.

I’ve read several of the pop psych ‘biggies’ on this topic, from Reviving Ophelia and Please Stop Laughing At Me to Mean Girls Grown Up.  The stories were so familiar to me that it helped to contextualize my experience as common and not the wholly unusual, even abnormal, one my own family believed it to be. 

Through several decades of harsh introspection and the odd evening of alcohol consumption even Hemmingway would envy, I learned to stop accepting and start liking myself.  Someday I will write a book about spiritual inheritance and the wastefulness of shame, the value of self-esteem, and the most important gifts a woman can bequeath another – her offspring or otherwise.

Whether by chance or Karmic justice, I have now a collection of women who are sisters in everything but DNA.  These women are proof enough to me that there is divinity inside us and that friendship isn’t a gauntlet to be run.

I unwittingly participated in much of my own suffering for fear of exclusion, unfortunate prioritization, or simply not having confidence in my own person, my own voice.

My daughters will suffer that same fate over my dead body.

I have no doubt that each will encounter situations I can’t foresee or forestall.  I have no doubt that each will wield a personality wholly unique to mine and values completely foreign to me.  I can only hope to prepare them to defend themselves and their ground with wit, charm, and defiance. 

Even against me.

No, I’ve no need to “keep trying for a boy.”  I have everything I need – a hub (in whom feminism thrives), a daughter (with a fiery Leo mane and spirit to match), and a mystery making its way to me as we speak.

If I do nothing else in my life, I will honor my daughters with honesty, empower them with tools to navigate their own path, and respect their gifts whether I understand them or not.

Throughout my time with them, I hope to show them how to pursue and embrace happiness. 

The Buddha says that all life is suffering.  I think many of us in America, especially those raised Christian, have a flawed sense of injustice if our life includes suffering.  Suffering isn’t punishment.  It isn’t unique to any of us.  It is a universal truth of humanity – a thing that binds us as sisters and brothers. 

The quality of your life is defined by how you roll with the punches.  You can lay yourself out if you aren’t bobbing and weaving in time.  I’ve never met a soul who wasn’t sucker punched once.

So I’ll teach my girls how to get back up, how to dust themselves off, how to get back after it.

And I’ll teach them to love being a woman.

And I’ll teach them to be women who love.

And I’ll learn from them my legacy.

Numbers Game

In one week, I celebrate my 38th birthday.  Well, ‘celebrate’ might be too strong a term. 

Not to say that I’m fretting over this number or birthdays in general.  I’ve already lived longer than I expected to and known more joy than I ever allowed myself to hope for.  So why am I feeling ambivalent about this year’s marker of my birth? 

Ordinarily the entire month of February is a cacophony of self-congratulation.  I’m a firm believer in asking for what you want and I ALWAYS ask for people to celebrate with me.  Most people (in the North) think of February with dread and lethargy.  I think of Valentines Day and Mardi Gras and a three-day weekend I like to call “Christine’s Birthday Gift from the Government.”  (I was President once, you know.) 

Plus, it’s a mini-month.  It’s over before you know it. 

I’ve felt 38 since my hub’s birthday in September so there won’t be anything to remembering my new age.  I’ve been saying it for months by accident.  And this year is undoubtedly going to be my best since my 35th.  I know this truth in my soul and am manifesting it all over the place.

When I was 35, I became a mom.  The rollercoaster joy of motherhood is something I never expected to experience.  It is a largely unacclaimed role but undoubtedly the most substantial one I’ll ever earn, undiminished by the volume of peers in the field.  Whatever my professional aspirations, this windfall of importance and comedy and humility has made me richer than I ever thought possible.

Yet, I thought, in my hubris youth, that I’d have more to show by this point, that I’d have accomplished something tangible and laudable.  I expected my achievements to be showy, enviable, and unmatched.  And like any self-respecting-perfectionist-first-born, NOT having ‘reached my potential’ makes me want to wad up the sketch of my life and toss it in the bin.

Just when I get to that point of self-loathing agony, mourning for my lost chances and unruddered choices, my wise old-soul of a husband discusses starting points.

I feel like I often write about life and love ‘not being a competition.’ And maybe I need the reminder as much as I need to share my belief.  Life, for sure, cannot be competitive because no one shares the same starting line.  We aren’t given the same legs to run on.  We aren’t given the same course to navigate.  Looking at friends (or foes) with more or less of anything we desire and feeling failure is tragically flawed logic.

A surprising source of perspective came from a former manager, who while we worked together almost drove me to homicide, but since has become less a tyrannical figure and more of a sympathetic one.  Indeed, she observed my impolitic professional life with dispassion saying that I still had time to make the ascent to real leadership and influence.  It was one of the most hopeful things I had ever heard and from such a pragmatist, I couldn’t justly dismiss it.

In fact, at 38, I am not quite middle-aged.  The lifetimes I packed into the last two decades were, in fact, only warm-up acts.  Nancy Pelosi won her first elected seat to the House at 47 and became the first female Speaker at 66.  Arianna Huffington launched her magnum opus, Huffington Post, at fifty-five.  The youngest female CEO in the Fortune 500 is 47.

I’ve still got time.

And right now, I’ve got a birthday to plan.

Finding me

Do you know Story People?

It’s a beautiful collection of child-like art with simple, witty, heart-wrenching quotes like this one:

I was never good at hide & seek because I’d always make enough noise so my friends would be sure to find me. I don’t have anyone to play those games with any more, but now & then I make enough noise just in case someone is still looking & hasn’t found me yet.

I was given the book years ago by a friend and devoured it during a time I needed something a little less cheese-tastic than “Chicken Soup for the Soul.”  Story People fit the bill.  The quote above has always been one of my favorites.

I remember myself always being loud.  I write it like that “remember myself” purposefully.  (Don’t we all color our memories?)  I watch young girls with their friends with one or more of them inevitably shouting out her words so as to draw attention to herself.  I see friends or even strangers at bars or parties being audacious and looking around the room to see who is watching them.  I used to be just that way. 

It really doesn’t take any great psychological mind to figure out why people do this. 

Everyone craves recognition.  Not just being seen and heard but really being known.  It is among the greatest gifts we can give another person – to know them.  I think people seek that out in myriad ways but mine was usually to act out loud, to create my own spotlight, to shock and awe.

It strikes me that writing is a new extension of that behavior.  Writing is nakedness.  It is opening up one’s mind and soul for others to inspect.  (You have been weighed.  You have been measured.  And you have been found wanting.) 

There is both selflessness and greediness involved in revelation.  I think each circumstance and each relationship require a slightly different balance of each for success.  Inevitably we get it wrong sometimes.  And the hope is usually that we learn to get better at what to show and when.

I married a man who knows me.  He doesn’t just tolerate some parts and secretly wish there were less of those.  He celebrates me for the whole of my being.  He knows bits about me that I’ve never revealed to him.  Insight is a rare and amazing gift possessed by few.  They are the true people-persons.  It is this insight that enables one to be compassionate in ways most of us will never be capable of.

I remember my younger self with compassion – all that showy, bravado.  I’m happy she lived through it and came out the other side.

Compassion, though, is difficult to come by most days.  An Aunt of mine signs her emails with a beautiful quote, “Be kinder than necessary.  Everyone is fighting some kind of battle. ~Billie Holiday”  It makes me pause every time I read it because of its simple wisdom – a reminder that you are not the protagonist in others’ lives.  Everyone you meet is someone’s daughter or son,  mother, father, brother, sister, friend…

I believe wholly that everyone is loved by someone.  There must be some good in them.  No matter what they show you.

Recently, a classmate of mine reached out to introduce himself.  His approach was cautious and unconventional but his delivery was kind.  According to his note, if he had never read my writing, he’d only have known that young, showy girl who was just a little louder than necessary in case someone was looking for her.  He was glad to meet the rest of me, he wrote.

Me too.

Gangsta, Party of Two?

Have you seen the new series on HBO, Boardwalk Empire?

It’s all about some seriously ridiculous sh*t that happened during Prohibition in Atlantic City, New York & Chicago.  But mostly Atlantic City.

I have only one experience with Atlantic City.  I went there for a bachelorette weekend for one of my all-time best friends.  She invited about 12 or so of her all-time best friends.  Unfortunately for me, I was at an all-time fat and being the girl NOT from Philly or New York, was kind of like the cousin from HeeHaw.  I was always inappropriately dressed.  When I didn’t try, everyone else was immaculate.  When I tried, everyone else was carelessly perfect.  It was maddening.  If I hadn’t had such a stick up my bum about watching out for a dozen drunk, silly girls, I would have gotten extraordinarily drunk and laughed it off with some scary codgers at the losers bar.  As it turns out, I was practically a mother hen, clucking at the girls that belonged to me (I drove) regularly and making sure they hadn’t been carted off by the medium-rollers trolling for plucks.

From what I saw, Atlantic City wasn’t anything to die for.

But evidently I missed the hey-day.

Mr. Pink” plays the head bad-guy in Boardwalk Empire, Nucky Thompson.  He is kind of a self-made mob boss.  So far, he’s kept his hands clean by having his people do the dirty work for him.  That’s how it goes, right?  When you’re at the top of Maslow’s Heirarchy, you get to be squeeky clean.  In the first episode, one of the muscle guys revealed himself as “Al.  Al Capone.”
I got a shiver. 

What is it about the Gangsters of that era?

How have they been romanticized into legends and heroes-of-sorts?  (I mean, it’s not just me, right?) 

They were criminals, right?  They did break the law, contribute to thefts, murders, etc. etc?

This show has my mind racing about a myriad of things: prohibition, conservativism, revisionist history, immigration, entrepreneurship, the legal system, law enforcement, corruption, power, money, bravado, testosterone, and morality.

I am a woman who likes to know a little about a lot, so I’ve been sneaking in searches when I need a break at work, and after my daughter is asleep.  Here’s what I’ve compiled so far:

  • The Volstead Act (Prohibition) was the 18th Amendment to the constitution.
  • It was passed in 1919 and became law in 1920.
  • Prohibition lasted THIRTEEN YEARS.  (How the bloody hell?)
  • Among the unintentional consequences of this folly were: bootlegging, racketeering, increased organized crime, increased prostitution, increased theft, increase murder, and the spread of speakeasies and jazz music.

In retrospect, this seems like a joke.  Like the smart people took their hands off the wheel of our country for, like, a second and it went to sh!t overnight.  But isn’t it more likely that I feel that way because alcohol is legal now?  Temperance was a pretty big movement.  Prohibition was enacted by a fairly significant margin in Congress.  The reports I could find said that Democrats voted 140 to 64 in favor of Prohibition, and Republicans voted 132 to 64 in favor. 

Of course, as the Great Depression wore on, the belief that prohibition was a local issue (and not one that should be legislated by our consitution) grew in popularity.  In addition, the lost taxes, jobs, and temporary relief of a good stiff drink seemed to outweigh the importance of having a sober society, or at least a society that was legally supposed to be sober.  With all the trafficking of liquor across borders, home distilleries, and smuggling, people who wanted to drink still did.  I mean, evidently.

So what I can’t help wonder is Will we feel this way about drugs someday?

I mean, drugs were legal before they were illegal.  We’re spending a bajillion dollars on a “war” against them that is totally unwinable.  We have criminalized possession and use and STILL our jails fill up.  We’re missing out on, I would guess, trillions of dollars in taxes.  It is widely believed to be the source of significant crime, including theft and murder. 

And though I keep my nose clean these days, I know too well that if you want to find drugs in this country, you can.

The illegality of drugs seems like Prohibition deja vu all over again.  You know, if I’d been around in the 1920s.

So I keep thinking to myself, those who don’t learn from the past, are destined to repeat it.  And, well, aren’t we?  I wonder if our grandkids will watch movies about drug runners and think, “Man how stupid was that era?”

I don’t know.  But I can’t stop thinking about it. 

One thing I do know – Boardwalk Empire has made me fall in love with Supper Clubs.  I know it’s hollywood and entertainment but how aaaahmaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaazing is the idea of a big open club where everyone dresses up to eat, drink and dance? 

Ok, we go to restaurants.  Yup, we go to bars too.  BUT WHERE DO WE GO TO DANCE?!?!??!!

And to do all three in once place?  Heaven. 

I’m not talking about those OONZ-OONZ-OONZ clubs where people chew glow sticks and dance with their cell phones.  I’m not talking about hooker gear or girls night out or bachelor parties with “hostesses”.  I’m talking about groups of couples – marrieds & nots, groups of friends – men & women – going out to share a night of laughs while consuming and burning calories.  Why the hell did that go out of style? 

Where’s Al when you need him?



This Just In

I’ve been debating for a week about this post.  After listening to Mayer Bloomberg’s speech, and Chris Matthews’ closing words tonight referencing that speech, I know I can’t be among those who don’t speak up.  And seeing yet another post in my Facebook feed with anti-Islam/anti-mosque sentiment, I know anyone who wishes for peace and appreciates freedom shouldn’t keep her tongue either.

When I was celebrating the last* of our troops leaving Iraq, I came across a thread from a High-School phriend.  Phriends are people who don’t know you (and maybe never did) but want to add you to their list on Facebook because you a) know some of the same people, b) went to school together, or c) grew up in the same vicinity. 

After moving back to St. Louis for a few months, I acquired quite a few new phriends, mostly from my hometown.   

Many are conservatives.
Some post highly political comments.
A few make my blood boil.

Reading that thread which insinuated that our President, addressed as “Hussein Obama,” is secretly a Muslim (and that there would be something horribly wrong if that were true), I felt my face redden.  Seeing violence threatened against the mosque to be built within blocks of ground zero by profile pictures of happy smiling 30-somethings, I recoiled with disgust. There were posts that attempted to justify their proposed hatred and violence because “they,” meaning Muslims, started the violence & hatred.  The ugly commentary was labeled ‘patriotism’ and somehow bled into how the U.S. has gone to hell because Christianity has been taken out of our schools.  Some people find that frenzied fear-mongering entertaining.  I think it’s fascist and hypocritical and I said so.

It earned me an “unPhriending.”  

You’d think an uber-conservative would have gleaned my lefty disposition from my very candid profile but in case anyone missed it,
This Just In:  I am a Liberal, A Capitalist, and a Cubs-Fan.*

Sure, I felt frustration that mine was likely the only contrary commentary his circle might hear and by removing me from the thread, I was taken out of the conversation.  Discourse and diversity are core to this country.  So while the poor fella who couldn’t stomach my retort to hate speech might not read this, I cannot keep quiet about hate. 

Here is the comment that earned me an “unphriending.”  I wonder how many more are about to bite the dust.    

There isn’t much about this thread that doesn’t appall me. The initial post is blatantly xenophobic and propagates disinformation circulated during our shameful election process.

The outrage over the mosque in NY is absurd. There are plenty of religious buildings near ground zero. Why is a mosque any different? Because the terrorists were Muslim? I’m pretty sure Oklahoma didn’t raze every church after the bombings there. It’s just ‘too bad’ we didn’t have any foreigners to blame for that despicable act or we could have started a few more unnecessary wars! Isn’t that the great American way? Do as we say or else we’ll bomb you to death?

Do you know what a terrorist is? Do you know the 100+ definitions for the term? Don’t you think that we are considered monsters for invading and ravaging sovereign nations whose guilt has yet to be determined?

As for religious freedom and the “taking back” of your country? Your privilege to worship as you choose is only as good so far as it does not interfere with mine.

Your right to wave a flag and threaten with shotguns and say God Bless America will and must be tempered by my right to burn that flag in protest, plant a daisy in your gun barrel and exercise my right to not practice a religion.

Pluralism, my friends, is what makes America great. Not Christianity or Conservatism or Democracy. Pluralism. We allow for a great many ideas, beliefs, habits, persuasions, and truths.

To support otherwise would place you squarely in the fundamentalist camp – not unlike the extremists we claim to have been fighting.

You can’t have it both ways.

It wasn’t that long ago that the Russians were the most evil people on earth according to the great American propaganda machine. It turns out that they love their children, cherish their spouses, and bleed just like we do. Huh… what do you know about that.

I’d be careful about using terms like “us” and “them.” We are but one people, universally. You can choose not to accept that but to your own detriment.

Since when is it appropriate to only do right when others do? If we are to ever fulfill our promise as a nation, we must learn to lead by example. Our pluralism is revolutionary. Clearly, 200 years on, we still breed people who aren’t prepared for the responsibility it imbues.

I hate to tell you, but Jesus was a liberal.

As of 8/25/10, 10:15 p.m. CST, the count is at 738.

To Market, To Market

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind. ~Dr. Seuss

This weekend, my family took a much needed break from unpacking, cleaning, and organizing to celebrate Market Days on Halsted Street in Chicago.

If you don’t know, neighboring Wrigleyville to the east is a little place affectionately known as “Boys Town.”  Boys Town has the same great walk-up style architectural as the rest of Lakeview, is even closer to the Lake, and is walkable to any kind of food or drink you could imagine.  It has the added benefit of progressive bars & restaurants (Love SideTrack’s Showtunes!) that proudly showcase rainbow flags, risque art, and a menagerie of staff and clientele who make it a vivacious, exciting place to live and people-watch.

Market Days 2010 didn’t disappoint. 

I haven’t been to the festival in years because of travel or conflicts or new-baby-having-syndrome or whatever.  Unlike Pride, Market Days is much more of a street festival than a showcase.  You’ll still see your occasional hot-pink bikini briefed boy-tow or tanned and oiled leather-daddy but most of the patrons look like any other street fest, except there are more same-sex couples and much better tshirt slogans.*

We took Claudia as a matter of course.  One of the things we are so excited about is that our daughter will grow up surrounded by diversity, that she will ask questions and be challenged by answers, that she will experience the richness of life in all its colorful splendor.  My favorite quote of the day was from a bartender at one of the many booths that served champagne or champagne-based drinks and using plastic flutes.  When I commented that at least they were using appropriate plastic-ware, he replied, “Well duh, what are we?  Barbarians?”

One of our fellow fest-goers appropriately dubbed her the “Queen of Market Days” as she high-fived and gave knuckles to every person reaching out to her as she walked along on Daddy’s shoulders.  Claudia ‘won’ a pink duckie that she got to pick from the Affinia Hotel’s duck pond giveaway.  An apparent rough-rider in leather straps and chaps, winked and melted as my red-headed girl danced to the music.  She won gold beads from him.  Our pnut stopped to watch the hot-pant wearing  jugglers and clapped appreciatively when one completed a successful round.  It was  brilliant!  She laughed and smiled and danced.  I think it was her wicked dance moves that drew the most affection though everyone who smiled her way seemed to comment on her ginger locks. 

What I took away from the experience was a sense of happiness and fun that carried with me through the rest of the weekend.  I wish I could have danced along with my daughter and toasted our fellow party-goers through the night but bedtime is strictly enforced in our house and we were all home and quiet by 8:00p.  My only regret is that I opted out of a fan-photo because I’m so self-conscious about my size.  I hope to see hub and bub on the fan page, though!

Our neighbors continued to rage on until the wee hours.  They will do the same tonight.  And what I honor in them and in all of us is a sense of joy and an appreciation for life.  I won’t pretend that homosexuality immunizes you from any of the human drama.  Unfortunately, I think all of us are subject to heartbreak, death, disappointment, ambition, infatuation, vanity and so on.  What I appreciated about our experience at Market Days, however, was an approachability, an eagerness to be known, and a fearlessness of showing and speaking one’s truth.

Those lessons are worth sharing, I venture.  And worth teaching to my peanut.

What do you think?

* Favorites included one for a No-Kill shelter that read “Stray Pride”, one with the face of Christ saying “Jesus thinks you need to lighten up,” and “Sorry, Girls.  I **** Boys.”