Does the “right” family = political aptitude?

When I take Brian and his friend Lucas to school in the morning, we drive by a very large political yard sign for a Republican candidate for the Georgia House of Representatives named Matt Bentley. In and of itself, this is not that unusual. There are signs on most every yard on this particular road. And yes, the vast majority of them are for Republicans of some sort. It’s certainly the neighborhood for it.

What was remarkable about this one was the blatant use of the image on the sign. The picture is of the aforementioned Matt Bentley and his wife and infant baby girl. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the picture. In fact, it’s a very good picture, and one they probably proudly hang in their own living room. But there’s something about the picture being used how it’s being used.

In what way does the idea that he has a wife and baby girl translate to his possible success in the Georgia House? The little baby is cute and the wife is attractive. Ok, I’ll give you that. But even that is not what the actual picture is about. It’s meant to play off of the “family” nature of this particular man. The “family values” vote is what’s being targeted here, I’m sure.

But, is that qualification enough? What are his motivations? What’s his platform? What does he believe in?

(Oh there they are, hidden in the darkness of the black couch: “Lower taxes”, “Less government”, and “More Jobs”. Really checking off the Republican talking points on that one, huh?)

Does anyone care about those things? Or is it simply because he’s a “family man”? Or could it be because they’re a white family? A heterosexual family? Man, woman, and child = healthy living, right? I mean, where’s the dog? The white picket fence?

(Oh wait, I just saw the dog’s head. Now it’s complete.)

Imagine for a second that this family was not a straight, white family with a dog. Imagine if the wife was a husband. Would that family be “suitable” for a sign? What if Mr. Matt Bentley was bald because he had cancer? What if he had tattoos? What if his wife was African American? Muslim? Japanese? Nigerian?

Would that matter?

I understand and firmly believe that it should absolutely not matter. But does it? Given the location of this particular sign and the neighborhood I’m driving in when I pass this sign, I’m guessing it matters a great deal.

And that makes me sad.

P.S. I don’t know Matt Bentley at all, or his family. This is in no way a condemnation of him, personally. This is really a commentary on society and the current social norms, specifically in Georgia.

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Umm, is she wrong?

I was perusing Facebook after all of the Florida shooting stories. Shocking that none of the normal gun freaks were speaking up in the aftermath.

Anyway, not the point here.

I came across the post above, and was struck by something. Number one, my aunt left a comment on the post that said “Thank you, Mr. Vice President.” Sigh. Number two, Joy Behar is not altogether wrong for saying what she said.

Think about it. If I publicly ran for office and said I discuss my issues and problems with my imaginary friend named Alan, people would say I was crazy.

“No, no, he’s my spiral advisor,” I would say.

And they’d call me even crazier.

And you know what, they’d be right. Because I’d be talking to someone (or something) THAT’S NOT REAL. There is no Alan. Just like there is no Jesus listening to you or talking to you.

It’s not there. It’s not real.

So, I would question my aunt. Why do you say “Thank you, Mr. Vice President”? Because you talk to imaginary friends, too? Is that ok? And if it is, I would presume you’d support any candidate or leader that talks to an imaginary bunny rabbit, right? Or a robot? Or what about an alien?

Those things are just as “real” as Jesus. (Oh, and by the way, there are “religions” that don’t believe in Jesus either, so it’s not just coming from this atheist.)

FFS

Time Flies

This picture was taken just under 5 years ago. Caroline was still a little girl. Brian looks so much like a young child. They are not that now.

They are still my kiddos, yes. And I willl always see them as such. But they are growing up so fast. As Jayme told my sister this morning, it’s only 6 years that we’ll be taking Caroline to college. Brian is about to hit his growth spurt and he’ll be asking for keys to the car before you know it.

I’m just not sure I’m ready for this.

My Dad: A Photo Study

Just study this picture, and you will know most of what you need to know about my dad.

  • Loves music? Check!
  • Beatles fan? Check!
  • Still reads paper magazines? Check!
  • Needs glasses to read those paper magazines? Check!
  • No way he’s cutting the dish/cable apparatus? Check!
  • Need to know the temperature because he’s old? Check!
  • Yet still uses earbuds for his iPod (yes, an actual iPod)? Check!

Yep, this is him. Very much surrounded by what he loves. And very much set in his ways.

And I love him everyday for it.

Hope, by any other name

Day in and day out is a struggle. Work. Kids. Family. Relationships that run through all facets of my life. Soccer practice. Managing. Coding. Speaking. Not sleeping well.

It gets overwhelming. Most days end with utter exhaustion. Some end with anger. Some end with laughter. Some end with emptiness. Some end with joy. And some even end with the feeling that no matter how hard you try, there’s always something waiting to drag you down.
Then, there is a moment that warms your heart like no other. It makes you realize why you push through all of that stuff above. One of those moments happened to me last night. And it couldn’t have come at a better time.

Caroline had soccer practice yesterday evening. I had been in meetings all day. Struggling against the idea that I’m getting nothing done. Feeling inadequate, to be perfectly honest, on many levels.

It’s about 9:30pm. Brian’s tucked in, he’s down for the night. And Caroline walks out to tell me she’s ready for bed. Her hair is wet as I hug and kiss her goodnight. She loves taking baths after dinner these days. And as I turn to go, I see her start to climb the stairs to her bed. She’s holding something in her other hand.

Clutched in her left hand is her doll. Not just any doll. The only doll. One that she affectionately calls “Baby” because she didn’t know any better name when she received it when she was less than a year old. That doll has been through everything with her. Moves. Fights with friends. Sicknesses. Sleepovers. Family trips. Everything.

She climbed that ladder, “Baby” in tow, without any fanfare at all. It was simply part of her routine. Part of her. Maybe she’s done this night after night and I just haven’t noticed it. But I noticed it last night.

And I realized something. Deep down, underneath all of the sass and attitude and facade of wanting to be cool and accepted that comes with pending teenage-dom, she’s still my baby girl. And she still has some of that innocence left. Yes, it will eventually fade with time, even though I wish it’d stay forever. But it’s still there right now. And that makes me unbelievably happy.

I needed that moment.

More than I realized.

Gotta Catch ’em All

Today, I became one of the many. Brian and I set out this afternoon for Piedmont Park to look for those elusive little virtual monsters.


It was beautiful outside, if not a little warm (91 degrees, roughly). But it was worth every moment to see Brian having fun without the word Minecraft being involved. And he really did have fun.

As anyone who knows Brian also knows he is a talker, but he took it to the next level today. It probably didn’t help that I didn’t understand what he was talking about, so he felt it was his duty to explain exactly, in excruciating detail, what he was doing and why he was doing it. It was also funny to watch people walk by and smile as he (not so softly) explained to his ignorant dad.


And yes, I now know how to “catch one”.