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The Cranky Old Retired Lady
Opinions, wailings and observations of a cranky, old retired lady on life after 50.

Commerce and Political Causes
CAUTION--OLD CRANKY RETIRED LADY RANT/OPINION: Ok, last night I read a passionate explanation about how A Spice Company, one of my favorite places to order spices, was supporting pro-choice groups, e.g, the women's' march back during the inauguration in January. Or at least the more subdued portion there of. You remember, the one where woman ran around Washington DC adorned in "costumery" depicting female anatomy that you really don't want to have to explain to your little kids. This is one of the latest companies (I have discovered) that feel compelled to take sides with some social cause in a purposely and politically supportive way.

After decades of being a democrat; and admiring democrats in leadership; and voting Democrat; I felt compelled to back away from the increasing insanity that now defines the Democrat(ic) Party in America. I don't want to be pigeon-holed into any extreme group. There are parts of me who never liked the fringe right wing element in the 80s (think Ruby Ridge-esque) that were so far right it bordered on insanity. There are dangerous factions on both sides. I sat in my safe Democrat cocoon and said thank God I'm not close-minded as those Right-wing people are. I'm an open minded, free thinker.  But I may have jumped the political gun back then because the last decade has seen the Democrat party become just as extreme and radical in their thinking as any 80s skin-head-militia group. Back then if something disturbed the cosmic force we boycotted businesses, but now days this particular brand of fringe seems fashionable and a lot of people jumped on the band wagon to the point that no safe haven exists for the average, politically moderate consumer. Now days I'm not so sure about anything in the political arena.

During the 2016 election it was sad to see local business owners picking fights on face book and railing against Conservatives who dared to question women's rights. If I felt abortion was wrong how comfortable would I be shopping in the store of a person who had just declared all Republicans/Conservative/Christians to be women-hating mouth breathers? Other professional people I knew dove into the tumultuous drink with name calling and hatred because if you voted for Trump you were a bigoted right-wing nut job (that was a personal favorite). A consumer service business wouldn't "do their thing in Indiana" when they had their religious freedom legislation controversy happening. They would not put their business there. A major department store decided they had to be in our collective faces about who used what bathroom. Frankly, if you've transitioned from a man to a woman or woman to a man, when I have to pee I'm probably not looking for transsexuals in the bathroom. I'm looking for a place to pee...with my hands full of packages...and my purse...while crossing my legs. So if I'm looking for anyone its whose coming out of the next available stall and concentrating on getting there first. I understand the concerns from the other side of this particular argument but that's another rant. The point is, if CEOs and COOs and board members make shopping or using a service so complicated that traversing their business model requires learning a whole list of socially just dos and don'ts then it's just too much work to be there. I don't want to engage.

When you make a huge declaration about being open-minded to certain social philosophies I don't see it as welcoming--I feel like you're telling average-person-me that I'm wrong and you're achieving that message  by rubbing what you think is socially just in my face...and my wallet. If I have to work that hard to tip toe around your fragile political feelings to buy your products or use your services it is just...not... worth my time or effort to patronize your business when it makes me feel unwanted or guilty. In fact, it gives a sharp, stabbing pain in the base of my brain that radiates to my eyeballs and makes my nose bleed. I just want to go in and shop or eat a frickin' chicken sandwich or drink a cup o' joe without social lectures or causes being THE  focus of my buying experience from either side.  Trying to sort it all out uses energy I would rather invest in more important things like surviving an increasingly hostile world where people nit-pick the differences to death and don't see the commonalities.

But then, I am just a cranky, old retired lady now. I'd better go check my lawn for politically incorrect kids...and yell at them to get off my lawn. Peace all.
Heros Among Us
I watched one of my favorite movies this weekend.  Sergeant York.  It isn't a hugely infamous film from the 1940s  but it starred the iconic and boyishly handsome Gary Cooper.  He won an academy award for his role as York. When I see the movie it always takes me back to 5th grade and an assignment we were given to name a hero.  I thought on the question and remembered the humble, church-going World War I soldier from Tennessee portrayed in the movie and wrote down St. Alvin York.  This 5th grade memory happened in the mid sixties and the film was made and released in 1941 so not too far in the past (like it would be now).  York himself was a decorated war hero who came home to parades and fanfare on the scale of the  the great astronauts of the space program.  

Since Gary Cooper won an Academy Award for his portrayal, York  was not totally ambiguous in any sense as an American icon.  York was a farmer from "back in the hills" as my mother used to say. He had values.  He was brave.  He captured 132 German soldiers with just a handful of fellow soldiers. He was the best example of a hero I could think of--someone I admired who had faith, was brave and cared enough to risk his own life to save his fellow soldiers.  He won the congressional medal of honor. So imagine my disbelief and disappointment when my paper came back with his name crossed out and "NO" in capital letters was written beside this man's name.  I don't know why the teacher did that.  I never asked.  But that incident made me wonder what is a hero?

With Memorial Day around the corner we can count all those who are veterans or active service members as heroes in my book.  In my opinion, any person who is willing to be shot at or blown up and bleed for America is a hero.  If you are willing to die for America, you are a hero.  If you are are willing to be called names, be spit on because you wear a uniform--you are my hero.  If you are willing to leave your native land and go over seas leaving your wives, husbands and children and parents behind, you are my hero.  Whether the conflict is right or wrong, moral or immoral it takes an incredible amount of discipline and inner strength to suck up your personal feelings, put them away and go to war.  You don't always have that choice and going where you are told because it is what you have to do is a courageous act.  Fire fighters and police and first responders are much the same.  They carry out duties for the greater good despite public sentiment about who they are or what they do.  Even if someone write a big NO across your name you have meaning to me.  I admire what you stand for and the difficult, and sometimes unpopular, setting where you sometimes have to do it.    Please accept my heart felt thanks to all who serve here at home or lands far away. My freedom and safety are mine because of what you are willing to do.

That's just a cranky, old, retired lady's opinion.

PS Any hero who serves, or has served, you can  hang out on my lawn any time.

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