Category Archives: Politics

It’s Like Mama Always Said…

Isn’t it funny how so many of us swear as kids that we will NEVER be anything like our parents when we grow up? I don’t know about you, but I’ve blown that one to smithereens so many times it’s not even funny. Especially since I’ve had kids. Scratch that. Make it – especially since I’ve left home. I can’t even count the number of times that I open my mouth and a Mom-ism comes out. It’s like a cartoon. I can see my mouth opening in slow motion, a speech bubble comes out, and it immediately fills with one of Mom’s sayings. And I have no way of stopping it midstream.

What brought this up? I’ll tell you. Politics. Last week’s inauguration brought out everyone’s political opinions in full force. Again. Now, I have nothing against politics. Far from it. I generally have very strong political opinions that I’ll be happy to share with you – if you ask. If you don’t ask, I’ve learned to keep them to myself. It’s less trouble that way. I tend to avoid conflict. I don’t like it. Well, I don’t like it unless you’re going to agree with me. Isn’t everyone that way? And for a long time my political opinions were in the minority around here.
Back in the day – during the last Big Election – when Facebook was brand spanking-new, I connected with tons of friends and acquaintances from childhood and high school. It was fun to be able to finally answer the question, ‘I wonder whatever happened to…’ Fill in the blank with random name: BFF from kindergarten, the Kid Who Could Never Sit Still, the class president, the kid who used to carry my lunchbox in second grade, etc. The list goes on and on. But then I connected with SS.
This was a guy I’d known since elementary school. Saw him here and there around campus during college. Had friends who knew him. So connecting via Facebook was a cool way to catch up and see what was going on in his neck of the woods – far from suburban north Texas.
Not the best move. Apparently this guy had REALLY STRONG political opinions. And he’d decided to make Facebook his forum. Anything extremist, negative, highly charged and/or controversial? He’d post it. We’re talking seventeen, eighteen posts a day. Along with his VERY STRONG statements that his beliefs were correct. He was right, and anyone who didn’t agree with him was not only wrong, but stupid. I kid you not.
This brought out my personal inner seven year old. Along with an age-appropriate exit line. It’s a good one. Back on the playground, the ultimate putdown/argument ender/having-the-last word one liner was…
“You think you’re hot snot on a gold platter but you’re really just cold boogers on a paper plate!”
It’s a good’un, right? I mean, what could any kid possibly use for a comeback line? And it’s what came to mind as this guy was spewing his I’m-always-right-holier-than-thou junk all over Facebook. Um, hello? It’s called a social network. For social networking. So it might not be the best forum for that kind of stuff…
Well, of course not everyone agreed with this guy. And back in school he’d had a bit of a surly personality that didn’t always attract friends. So you can imagine that – eventually – he started to get a teensy bit of negative feedback on his posts. Just a little, tiny, miniscule bit.
I called it Free Entertainment. Heck, it beat seeing everyone’s Farmville accomplishments in my news feed. But apparently he didn’t agree. Not only did he express sadness and anger that his Freedom of Speech had been compromised – this was America, after all – but he just could not believe that anyone would dare to criticize his views, not to mention him personally. He posted a long-winded defense of his views and tried to put a positive spin on them. Didn’t work. More negative comments. And you know what he finally did? The guy with such strong opinions that he was so eager to share them with cyberspace??
He deactivated his Facebook account. Hasn’t been seen – or heard from – on there since.
And that’s where I saw the speech bubble slowly crawl out of my mouth, inflate and fill with her words before I could stop them.
“Don’t dish it out if you can’t take it.”
My mom is wise. Very very wise. I’ll keep that Mom-ism for my own kids, thank you very much. And if you don’t agree with me?? Please comment. Argue. Disagree. I take that as a compliment that my writing has stirred up emotion in another human being.
And isn’t that one of the reasons I’m doing this?

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Filed under Facebook, life lessons, Mom Sayings, Moms, Opinions, Politics


Gotcha didn’t I? Ha. Good. Because this post isn’t REALLY about politics…

It’s about grammar.

Don’t get me wrong, I do have political opinions. Strong ones at that. I just don’t like to share them unless I’m asked. But in light of all the political posts I’ve read on Facebook recently, I’ve got to speak up.

See, I’m a grammar snob. I can’t help it. Part of it is genetic – being a Type A/Gold/INTJ has its caveats. And I blame my job for some of it too – it’s hard to turn off the technical editor in my free time. But I definitely blame three of my English teachers too. Their pet peeve has become my own.

Apostrophes. Really, if you’re going to make an eloquent political statement that’s supposed to influence my opinion, please check your grammar first. Consider the following gems that I’ve come across in the last few weeks:

‘As Americans, we have the right to speak our mines.’
‘Its important to use your right of free speech. The Constitution clearly lists this in it’s rights.’
‘Your supposed to vote for one of the two main candidates. If you don’t your just wasting you’re vote.’
‘The Democrat’s are going to lose this election.’

Now I sat through years of English classes getting slammed over apostrophes. Comments like, “You’re never going to get a job if you can’t pluralize a possessive correctly,” come to mind. Really. Yet I see them used improperly all the time!

I started to get mad. So many political posts, so little actual fact-checking involved. Everyone out to promote their own agenda. Steam was coming out of my ears, and then I started noticing the grammar. Now I just laugh. It’s my coping mechanism. Call me shallow, but there it is.

Please check your apostrophes. Please. The Type-A in me thanks you!

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Filed under Blogging, Election, Politics, writing