I am not Catholic but I decided to observe Lent this year. I was inspired by a short video that I saw on Twitter of a priest discussing the topic. On a whim the day before Lent began I decided to not use make up for 40 days. I took it as a new experience and challenge.
I am a light make up user. I don’t use concealer, powder or foundation. But I do enjoy black liquid eyeliner, black mascara and a nice bold lip color. Getting ready in the morning is my favorite part of the day. I have fun choosing what I’m going to wear and applying my make up. I think of it as my time to spend on myself before I go out and try to satisfy the world.
The first few days of Lent I was very uncomfortable. It was shocking to see my reflection when I passed a mirror. I felt like a few people that were use to seeing me with make up looked at me strange. I felt like I needed to explain my appearance but I didn’t because I would have seemed very self centered because they probably didn’t think anything of my appearance at all.
I didn’t feel like I was doing my best when I wasn’t wearing make up because I feel that I look better with it. I wanted to give up on my challenge early on and throughout Lent. I didn’t feel like I was becoming spiritually enlightened or closer to God. I just looked plain in the face and I didn’t see any value in that.
I wish I could say that I spent the time that I usually spent applying make up reading the Bible or in prayer. I didn’t. And I didn’t show up places fifteen minutes sooner than normal either.
I was really happy once Easter arrived and I could wear make up again. It was like being reunited with an old friend. Observing Lent didn’t have an Earth shattering spiritual affect on me but I do feel like I learned some discipline and I learned to put aside vanity for the sake of honoring God. I removed a part of my life that is important to me and glorifies myself and put it to the side for a while. I’m glad that I observed Lent this year and I am actually looking forward to doing it again next year.
The experience reminds me of one of my favorite Bible verses:
Galatians 2:20 New International Version (NIV)
20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God,who loved me and gave himself for me.
Bullying has been a hot topic for the last few years and this week the bullying hype has reached a fever pitch due to the #Keaton hashtag on Twitter. People love to reflect on why children are so cruel to each other. To me it is painfully obvious why children mistreat each other to the point that a student may commit suicide because of taunting at school. Children mistreat each other because they are growing up in a mean, disrespectful society that does not value others.
I’ve been noticing for years that people love to strong arm one another in modern day America. There is no respect for a difference of opinion and when people do not do what we want we try to force our will on them. I noticed that in various customer service positions I’ve held.
If a store clerk says “Sorry you can’t bring this back you’ve owned it longer than what our return policy allows” or “Sorry this coupon is expired” or “Sorry you can’t substitute the sides and still get this at the same price” people become mean as hell. They use language to demean the clerk and demand to speak with a manager. If management doesn’t do what they want they call the corporate office and rudely make demands and if they don’t get their way they threaten to slander the company on the internet. They’re bullies that don’t respect the boundaries of others and want to force their will.
The “Real Housewives”, “Basketball Wives” and “Love and Hip Hop” are popular reality show franchises that give us a glimpse into the private lives of the wealthy and privileged. These tales involve adults, some of whom are grandmothers, that treat each other terribly and sometimes they are even violent to one another. The characters on these shows are sensitive and have hair trigger tempers. Their interactions often lead to mean words being thrown back and forth, wine being thrown in someone’s face and/or punches being thrown. There is no doubt in my mind that a lot of these shows are family viewing in many American households.
Social media is another place where mean, rude, crass behavior has become normal. People call strangers names and demean each other for their opinions. The behavior gets even worse when people start talking about and to celebrities. Geez, people love to build celebrities up and then drag them through the mud or “cancel” them.
To top it off look at who Americans chose to be their leader in 2016. A man was democratically elected because Americans want a president that speaks his mind and isn’t politically correct. In other words America wanted crass and brazen behavior in the White House. He does what he wants and doesn’t consider others. He grabs bitches by the pussy! In other words Americans wanted a bully as a president. The last president we had was considerate, polite, professional and tried to help people. What a punk!
So the next time anyone ponders why children bully each other just look at what is surrounding them as they grow up. They are surrounded by bullying in real life, in the media, in entertainment and in the White House.
Bullying and treating others with disdain is normal for children because of the behavior the see modeled before them. So don’t blame children for the bullying. It’s not their fault that they are growing up in this modern day trashy American culture.
I’ve been considering writing about my experience with rape for months. I’ve thought about writing my story as a catharsis, for revenge and to help others. The #metoo has helped me make the decision to publish my story. I’m going to be very brief and to the point. I don’t think all of the details are necessary.
Three years ago I met a man on OKCupid. He and I communicated for around four months and I saw him in person two or three times within that time frame. While I was getting to know this man that goes by the name David Gosh of Houston, Texas I told him that I was not interested in a sexual relationship.
I explained that I wanted to live my life by Biblical rules and that meant that I wouldn’t have sex again until I was married. He told me that he respected that and sex would not be an issue in our relationship. He traveled for work and came to Kansas City often. On one of his trips to Kansas City I decided to spend time with him in his hotel room. I told him that sex of all kinds was still off the table but we could kiss, hug and cuddle.
After I got off work I went to meet David. We went to dinner and then back to his hotel room to relax and watch TV. I brought a change of clothes, a tank top and sweat pants with me. I changed into my comfortable clothes. I had been to one of his hotel rooms before and that one had a couch. This one didn’t have a couch area in front of a TV. There was just a bed. That was probably by design.
I got in the bed and David turned off the lights. He began kissing me and groping me. He began taking off my clothes and I told him no and to stop repeatedly. Ultimately I gave in to his advances and the sex act happened. Afterwards, David took a quick shower and told me he had to get up early tomorrow so I had to leave.
I changed my clothes and left. After reliving the incident in my mind I felt very used and violated. After a month I reported what happened to the Kansas City Police Department but I decided not to pursue charges for a variety of reasons. His name was removed from the police report.
I’ve been taken advantage of in other ways before. I’ve had my purse stolen, a credit card number stolen on a separate occasion. I had a window busted out of my car and the radio was stolen. In those situations after the window was fixed, I got a new purse and the credit card company was notified of the theft I felt whole and I was no longer affected by the crime. But it is very difficult to get past a violation against your body. I don’t know if this was made worse because I trusted the wrong person.
I never saw David again after that night. Once I got home I texted him and let him know that I was upset and thought he was a rapist. He doesn’t believe he raped me. He said “I knew you wanted to fuck me when you said you brought different clothes”. I brought the same type of clothes that I would have worn if I had gone home after work.
I also sent him a few hateful threatening e mails months later. He asked if we could be friends again. I laughed out loud when I read that. That was my last contact with David Gosh of Houston, Texas. I hope his home flooded. If he even really lives in Houston or if David Gosh is even his name. I don’t really know because my entire brief relationship with him was a lie.
Absolutely anything can turn into an argument on social media. The most innocuous comment can draw a sharp tongued response from a fellow social media user with a chip on their shoulder. We can’t agree on anything these days. America is sharply divided by ideology: Democrat, Republican, faithful, Atheist, does pineapple belong on pizza or not, who do you hate more the Patriots or the Cowboys? In this day and age we have a hard time respectfully allowing others to have an opinion without passing judgement on their character. I do it too.
But I’ve noticed that there is one subject everyone agrees on: Curtis Granderson. No one ever says anything bad about him. Like never, ever. All of the social media comments that I’ve seen about Curtis have been admirable. That’s an incredible accomplishment in an environment where a picture of a cupcake or puppy can start an argument.
Curtis is the outfielder Curtis Granderson for the LA Dodgers. I’ve followed his career since he played for my Detroit Tigers around ten years ago. I’ve had a crush on the man since then. He’s tall, athletic, Black, wealthy and absolutely charming with old fashioned manners. You can tell he was raised by adult parents with common sense and morals that instilled good values in their son. That’s rare. The only person that compares is J.J. Watt who is the blonde, blue eyed NFL equivalent.
I think the secret to Curtis’ popularity is that we don’t know much about the man. I’ve looked for information about the man’s personal life because I’ve been in love with him for like a decade but there isn’t much out there. Other than a Wikipedia page, articles about his charity and stats Curtis Granderson is a mystery. He has not given us anything to talk about or judge. Instead of seeking attention he uses discretion. Discretion is not appreciated much in this social media world of ours.
Anyway, God bless Curtis Granderson. I’m still hoping the Royals will win the Wild Card and make it into the Pennant Race and make a good run for another World Series ring. Honesly, it’s not looking great for the Royals so I will jump on the LA Dodgers bandwagon and cheer them on for a World Series ring. Curtis deserves it. He’s had an impressive career and is a more impressive human being. Thank you Curtis Granderson for standing for class, tact and professionalism. The world appreciates you.
I forgot my phone at work on Friday evening. At least I think so it may be lost somewhere for good. I thought about going back to get it since I have access to the office but between not wanting to make the drive back, heavy rain and not wanting to see anyone at work over the weekend I decided to do without it for the weekend. I thought this could be a good test to see if I had created an idol in my life.
Being without my phone wasn’t a huge loss. I have a land line phone in my home. (I’m not sure how many people that would call me actually have that number though.) I also have a tablet and a laptop. I bought the tablet after forgetting my phone at work once before. I didn’t want to be deprived of my nightly Instagram intake.
The biggest loss was I was unable to take my weekly #churchflow pictures. There is a camera on my tablet but it is absolute garbage. My selfies were grainy and looked like Bigfoot pictures. So the prechurch photo shoot was cut short and I was only fifteen minutes late to church this morning. I was there early enough to help usher. That would be a gain. Less vanity and more serving the Lord.
The other side is that I didn’t have an epiphany of how I need to unplug from social media and tap into the people and things around me. I don’t think anyone is missing much by checking social media when they have spare time as long as you are not driving or performing surgery or something while you’re checking Twitter.
So that’s my unremarkable weekend without my cell phone. I can live without it but I sure am looking forward to getting to work on Monday.