I purchased my current mattress after the break up of my marriage.  It was not supposed to be my forever mattress, only my transition mattress.  After eight years and even more lumpy spots, it had to go!

After weeks of procrastination, I went shopping.  The first few stores were not doing it for me.  In each, I was met by a sales associate who appeared in front of me as if dropped by a pneumatic tube associate dispensing system activated by opening the door of the store.  With each salesperson came a big toothy grin and a clipboard with sale flyers, credit applications and, no doubt, a list of everything the manager wanted the staff to sell.  The associates in each store stayed in close formation, chatting me up, looking for personal details to bond with me so I would make a purchase, preferably on my new store credit card.  The only thing they needed to know was that I was shopping for a mattress, I was there to flop, lay still and sort through the selection on my back.


The last store was different.  I slipped into the vast showroom unnoticed by the staff.  Perhaps their pneumatic associate delivery tube system was down.  The last time I was here, the mattresses were way in the back of the building, so that is where I headed, weaving through the confusing galleries of bedrooms, dining rooms, leather recliners, and couches.  When I finally arrived in the back, I was dismayed to find the former mattress gallery full of beach house offerings.  “Wicker (shuddering), so much wicker!”

I plotted my escape from the store.  Did they stop selling mattresses?  To find that answer I would need to talk to an associate. No, it was better to locate a way out as stealthily as possible.

20180818_122327As I weaved my way out it happened, a desk caught my eye.   I wanted a new writing table. It had to be hardwood, at least 60 inches wide, and a close match for the furniture in my bedroom.  As I was examining it, a strange feeling came over me, perhaps a feeling a wildebeest experiences when they sense a lion, with a clipboard, sizing them up.  I moved away, picking my route through the maze of galleries, increasing my pace as I went. I was using my peripheral vision to track the predator associate as I moved ever closer to the front door.

I moved left and stumbled on the entrance to the mattress gallery.  I darted around a half wall and there, in front of me, a sea of mattresses.  I flopped on the first one.  Wow, not too firm, not too soft.  The lioness approached, but the half wall obstructed its view.  She moved off slowly. There were more wildebeest to be had.

I checked out the selection and returned to the first mattress I had tried during my escape.  We have a winner!  Now I need to find an associate.  They are never around when you need them!

This is a blog post written for a class, Blog Writing I, I am taking with Gotham Writers Workshop

Time to stop the tantrums

Full disclosure:  I am a white male, mid 50’s, with an education.  I am just the sort of person you don’t want to listen to if you are one of the people wearing a safety-pin and protesting the election. If you don’t want to read this, please go find some kitten videos on You Tube, I don’t want to bruise your feelings.

I had no problem with the outcome of the election.  I had an issue with the choices in this election.  In one of my early posts on this blog I went through my reasons for disliking both candidates. I won’t rehash my thought process, you can read it if you want. My home state of Virginia went blue in a tight election.

I am not happy that we have a buffoon as our new president-elect.  I am old enough and well read enough to understand how the election works. Start with Article II, Section I of the Constitution and then go read the 12th Amendment  if you need a refresher.  The lofty ideals of the Constitution were put down on paper in order to establish a country where a peaceful transition of power could take place, especially in times when social discourse is less than polite and the candidates have set aside the real issues of this election in favor of an unnecessarily dangerous division of the population.

I see the protests after the election and I have no issue with them until they become violent and destructive.  At that point, I am deaf to your cause and I am all for correcting you on the spot.  What I find particularly amusing is that these protestors, who think the end of the civilized world is nigh, are rampaging through the streets of the cities that supported their candidate.  On Wednesday night, “protestors” marched on to I-95 and stopped traffic in Richmond.  Congratulations for stopping people from getting home and interfering with interstate commerce. Your message was lost. In Chicago, a motorist was beaten by a bunch of thugs because he was white and they assumed he had supported Trump.  That would be a hate crime.  In Oregon protesters walked along the roofs of cars in a dealership and kicked in all the back windows and windshields.  Lets call it like it is, this is the kind of anarchy and destruction caused by criminals who are hijacking a protest.  If you support the “protestors” that do this, I will warn you that at some point, it is going to blow up in your face.  There will be a reaction and it will probably not be an equal and opposite reaction by any means.

There are remedies for this election.   In 4 years there will be another presidential election.  If you don’t like what he has done, vote him out.  In two years the entire House is up again as well as 1/3 of the Senate.  Vote for the candidate that supports your position. Do what you need to do, within the law, to correct the path you fear the country is on.  Just remember, people with the opposite point of view will be doing the same. A little respect goes a long way.

If you want to have the president elected by popular vote only and disband the electoral college, you need to work on a constitutional amendment that repeals the 12th Amendment and establishes the popular vote as the metric that decides future elections.  There is a process for this that does not require the burning of buildings or the smashing of windows on police cars.  I will point out that in the wake of the 2000 election where the winner won the electoral vote and not the popular vote there was an uproar that fizzled out pretty rapidly.  No move to amend the Constitution was made, even when the Democrats had the White House and both Houses of Congress for a couple of years (2009-2011).

And just a note for those of you that have been watching the Hunger Games over and over to get ideas on how to deal with your new dystopian Trump reality, you need to understand something.   Some of us “deplorables” believe in the rule of law.  I see Roe Vs. Wade as a settled issue, the law of the land.  I see gay marriage as settled law.  Why should I deny the same right I have to be miserable in a marriage to a LGBTQ person? I don’t support the repeal of the 19th Amendment (yeah, I heard that one last week while in line to cast my ballot). And no matter what you hear, doctors will treat patients because it is their duty and solemn oath to do so. You cannot replace Obamacare unless you have something with which to replace it.

I see the far right as the same grave threat as the far left.

The new president is not a conservative, he does not have the full support of the Republican House and Senate Majorities.If you think there will be a Republican love fest in the aftermath of the inauguration you are not paying attention.

The reason for the unrest is that the Democrats rigged the process for Hillary and she was too busy being entitled to her birthright as the first woman elected president that she alienated a huge swath of the population.  On the Republican side of the ledger, they chose a narcissistic toddler to be the  nominee.  Does the fact that she could not win the election against Mr. Trump speak volumes about Secretary Clinton?

In the meantime, let’s pull up our big boy/girl pants and stop throwing your post-election tantrum because you did not get what you wanted.  Time to grow up people!  The Constitution is there to get us through difficult times.  We will get through this.

A note for those of you that did not bother to vote, I don’t want to hear a peep out of you. And for those of you moving to Canada, don’t let the door hit you on the way out.  My deepest apologies to the people of Canada for the coming trickle of knee jerked immigrants from your southern neighbor.

via Daily Prompt: Lofty
I'm part of Post A Week 2016

The Space to Write

The largest room in my house is the master bedroom.  It actually could be divided into an office and a bedroom. There is a bay window area that is home to a desk that is perpetually covered in old family photos waiting for a turn in the scanner, snail mail and Blue Ray discs of Firefly, Downton Abbey, and Poldark.  I try to write at the desk, but I am too easily distracted.

There is another room in the house that could be classified as a formal living room. If you come into the foyer from outside, you would make an immediate left into a small room that is home to an old, reupholstered couch, two wing chairs liberated from a Smithfield, Virginia antique store, and a pair of bookcases that I built not long after my wife and I moved in here in the late 1990’s.   She is gone but, I am happy to say, the bookcases remain.  This room was a clean slate in the post divorce world order.

Furnishings in this room were either made by me, reupholstered or purchased after the departure of my ex.  The book cases are filled with books collected over the years as well as old black and white photos from my family.  Two of my favorites are a photo of my maternal grandfather in his FDNY Captain’s uniform with lioness (circa 1950’s) and the hero shot of my dad as a Naval Aviator crouching on the wing of a Grumman F-9 Cougar on the deck of the USS Intrepid in the late 1950’s. The shelves also serve as a sanctuary to my collection of military challenge coins, a lug nut from Greg Biffle’s #16 car from NASCAR’s Pennsylvania 500 in 2012 (a memento of a crazy weekend with my two brothers) and a Lego model of Serenity (Captain Mal Reynold’s ship).  It is also home to my great uncle’s early 1960’s Tonka Suburban Pumper, a toy that my siblings and I would play with while visiting his ancient brownstone in Brooklyn.  I have surrounded myself here with things that are of little value to anyone, but are priceless to me

It is in this room where I seem to be able to write despite its central location and lack of doors to the foyer or the empty dining room next to it.  It is the spot where my two twenty something sons will toss their bags, the day’s mail or college textbooks on the coffee table and start chatting about their day.  Despite this room’s ability to collect chaos, it is the room where I can get my thoughts together and sometimes convey those thoughts onto the screen of my laptop.

I guess I find the calm of writing in the room that is the storm of my house.