Thursday, February 21, 2013

Foreshadowing is REAL, yo!

Last month, I celebrated my birthday.  The night before my actual birthday, Mr. Misha had a gig.  I went to the gig and my pending birthday was made known, leading to the purchase and presentation of many delicious cocktails before me.  I got quite boozy.  I had worked the night before, I didn't really eat a proper meal before going out and the cocktails were so yummy- I got a bit more boozy than is my usual practice.

After the gig, Mr. Misha wanted to get pizza.  When we pulled up to the pizza place, I was not feeling my best.  I balked at getting out of the car, but Mr. Misha insisted and I acquiesced.  I ate a huge piece of pizza and sucked down a soda.  I felt much better.  We got back into the car and drove to the home of two of Mr. Misha's band mates.  I stayed in the car, drunk tweeting/Facebooking, while Mr. Misha did whatever it was he needed to do.

The drummer of the band came up to my window and said, "Excuse me ma'am, have you been drinking this evening?"  I proudly proclaimed, "Yes!  It's my birthday!"  He replied, "I'm going to need you to step outside of the car."  I don't think he was prepared for what came next.  "NO!  I WILL NOT STEP OUTSIDE OF THE CAR!  YOU DON'T HAVE PROBABLE CAUSE!  I AM NOT IN THE DRIVER'S SEAT!  THE KEYS ARE NOT IN THE IGNITION!  I WILL NOT LET YOU VIOLATE MY 4TH AMENDMENT RIGHTS!"  (Yes, I am that much of a dork (patriot) that I have the Bill of Rights memorized so well that I can proclaim them when I am drunk)  The drummer looked confused, so I yelled "YOU CANNOT VIOLATE MY CIVIL RIGHTS JUST BECAUSE I AM BOOZY!"  Just then, the lead singer of the band came up to see why I was yelling.  I told her, "BILL IS TRYING TO VIOLATE MY 4TH AMENDMENT RIGHTS!"  I think Bill was expecting her to calm things down, but no, instead she started citing cases backing up my argument.  It was then that the drummer realized that he was in trouble.  Wisely, he patted me on the shoulder and said, "Happy birthday, Mish."  and walked away.

Little did I know that this event was foreshadowing how I would spend three days in February being a Rural Juror.

To be continued…

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Male Privilege

Mr. Misha is out of town.  I needed to go to the store.  It was 2:30am.  I needed to go to the store at 2:30am because I slept all day.  I slept all day because I worked all night.  In fact, I worked five 12hr night shifts in the past 7 days. A lot of things fell  through he cracks.  I need to do laundry. I need to go grocery shopping.  I need to clean  the house.

Tonight, I needed milk, for my cereal, for my coffee.  So I decided to pop over to the local convenience  store and get some.  I grabbed my keys, my phone and the cocker spaniel and hopped in the car.  No one was in the parking lot as I pulled in.  The cashier was the regular gentlemen that I see on my late night trips.  I picked out my items and paid for them.  At that time, I noticed a tall, bald, white guy in a track suit.

I made a beeline to my car.  My key was already out, I was already thinking about how to avoid the dude.  I was thinking about how to defend myself.  Then the guy approached me.  He was drunk.  He was slurring his words and reeked of booze.  He started towards me.  "Ma'am, I am trying to get to St. Helena"  "Sorry, I'm not going that way"  He keeps walking towards me.  I open my car door. As I get in my seat, he puts his hand on my door, preventing me from closing it.  "My girlfriend just took off.  She has my wallet, my credit cards".  He moves to the other side of my car door.  "Let go of my car door, NOW"  I start to close the door.  "If you can't give me a ride, can you spare some cash?"  "LET GO OF MY CAR DOOR, NOW."  I reach down into the side compartment of my door and pull out my mace.  The cocker spaniel is now growling, the hair is going up on her back.  This dog loves everyone, but she senses my fear.  I pull on the door and close it, almost smashing his fingers in the door frame.   I lock the door.  He stands there, staring at me, giving me sad puppy dog eyes.  I drive away quickly.  I was more cautious than normal getting out of my car and getting into my home.  My heart was racing.

He was probably just a drunk dude who got into a fight with his girlfriend.  He probably had no ill-intent.  But no one ever taught him not to approach a woman like that.  He had no understanding of how scary it may have been for me, how threatening he seemed.  Men, do better.  We can't tell if you are a good guy or a bad guy.  In fact, when we are alone at night, it is safer for us to presume that all you are bad.  That is sad.

I hope that dude gets to St. Helena.  I hope when he tells his girlfriend this story, she will point out how creepy he was being.  I hope she will also tell him that unless he sees a head full of grey hair, or a "World's Greatest Grandma" sticker on my car- NEVER CALL ME MA'AM.  Miss or Ms. will be just fine.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Blog for Choice Day 2013

NARAL has asked that I share a personal story for Blog for Choice Day this year.   I've never had an abortion.   But here is my personal story.  

I've always been Pro-choice. It never occurred to me to be any other way.  I wasn't raised by liberal, Pro-choice, feminists who marched, protested and campaigned for reproductive freedom.  I was raised by Republicans.  I was raised by Catholics.  I was raised by a mother who took her friends (in college, before Roe) to Mexico or to shady practitioners for abortions.  A woman who told me about the bleeding, the infections, the fear, that she and her friends went through before Roe.  I was raised by a grandmother who, although her church said it was a sin, knew what having child after child did to a woman's health and believed that contraceptives and abortions were a private matter between a woman and her doctor.

They never proselytized. They never ranted.  They just told me what happened when women didn't have a choice.  I still went to mass with them, I still went to catechism, I heard the church's side of the issue.  I read.  I watched the news.  It didn't change my mind.  No one should be able to force me to give birth.  My body.  My choice.

In nursing school,  I started working at a clinic.  I saw women harassed. I saw women afraid.  I saw the security system at the clinic.  I became afraid.  Then I got mad.  Then I got active.  I had taken the job because I was a poor student and I wanted to earn money while learning more about women's health.  But the fear that the clients, the employees and I felt ignited me.  Abortion was a legal, medical procedure.  I didn't want to back to the days my mother and grandmother had told me about.

So I vote.  I write letters.  I tweet.  I post on Facebook.  I escort at my local clinic with my awesome, Pro-choice husband. I march on my state capitol.  I phone bank.  I raise and donate money.  I adorn my car with bumper stickers.  I do whatever I can, whenever I can, however much I can to fight for reproductive freedom.  

I'm getting pretty old, reproductively speaking, and it is unlikely that I will ever find myself pregnant, let alone in need of a termination.  So now I fight on for the younger generations. There are more restrictions on abortion now than there was when I was in my teens and 20's.  I hope to see those restrictions lifted. I want abortion to be safe, low cost and widely available.  I hope to see contraceptives given to all who want them at little or no cost.  I hope to see medically correct, sexual education taught to teens in schools.  I hope that every child is a wanted child.