Pay Attention to Me!

hey_everybody_pay_attention_to_me

Some times people are simply desperate for attention. They’ll make comments that neither engage nor enrich a conversation, but simply to make their presence known by posting something.

Today I accidentally stumbled upon such a situation with a total stranger. To be fair, I was looking at an image of guerrilla art that was a protest. Any time you are on a page for such a topic you should expect someone, somewhere, to be verbose about their position, either for or against the protest topic. What I found was a person who apparently did not understand the point of the topic, which was a very profound in-your-face image that seemed fairly clear to me what their message was. Not so much for this other person. They were looking at it from a different perspective. I can appreciate this concept. However, their execution of expressing their position was… just plain obnoxious.

I made the mistake of engaging them in conversation, but some people aren’t looking for actual dialogue, but rather a pulpit from which to preach, be heard, and not have to answer any questions.

So, for those who might not be aware: Flooding the comments section of a photo (or status) on FB with the same message over and over again, then “like”ing your own comments, tells the world not that you have something important to say, but rather that you’re desperate to be noticed. The sad part is that what you have to say might be important and something people should pay attention to, but given human nature, we are less likely to hear it because it is poorly presented. Also, if it seems you are desperate in your need for attention people may take that as a sign that you haven’t got anything worthy to say.

Irish Sunglasses & Domestic Abuse

Domestic violence isn't funny.

A friend posted a photo of a girl with a nasty looking black eye. The caption reads, “IRISH SUNGLASSES Free pair when you forget dinner!”

My friend’s comment is “Haha :)”.

Now, I know in my heart my friend is not one in actual favor of domestic violence. This image is clearly intended as a joke. In fact, we have no real idea from what this photo was originally from. Could’ve been from a car accident, or any other kind of accident, and not remotely related to the caption.

However, that aside and taking the image as it is presented, it’s a very mixed message. What this photo is also saying is that the stereotype of a “fighting Irishman” and domestic violence are something we can laugh at. It mocks a painful reality for millions of people.

Having been one of those on the receiving end of some extreme domestic violence and currently helping a dear friend who is dealing with domestic abuse and violence, this “joke” image truly upset me.

Will we as a society ever get to the point where this is no longer funny because of the reality on which it’s based? Will we, on whole, ever condemn domestic abuse and violence rather than just sections of our society? Will we ever get to a point when we can’t believe this behaviour was ever common/acceptable/practice?

Some facts about Domestic Violence from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV)

  1. One in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. [1]
  2. An estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year. [2]
  3. 85% of domestic violence victims are women. [3]
  4. Historically, females have been most often victimized by someone they knew. [4]
  5. Females who are 20-24 years of age are at the greatest risk of nonfatal intimate partner violence. [5]
  6. Most cases of domestic violence are never reported to the police. [6]

For more information or to get help, please call:

The National Domestic Violence Hotline  1-800-799-7233

The National Sexual Assault Hotline 1-800-656-4673

The National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline 1-866-331-9474

Sources
1 Tjaden, Patricia & Thoennes, Nancy. National Institute of Justice and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, “Extent, Nature and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence: Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey,” (2000).
2 Costs of Intimate Partner Violence Against Women in the United States. 2003. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Centers for Injury Prevention and Control. Atlanta, GA.
3 Bureau of Justice Statistics Crime Data Brief, Intimate Partner Violence, 1993-2001, February 2003.
4 U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, “Criminal Victimization, 2005,” September 2006.
5 U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, “Intimate Partner Violence in the United States,” December 2006.
6 Frieze, I.H., Browne, A. (1989) Violence in Marriage. In L.E. Ohlin & M. H. Tonry (eds.) Family Violence. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

Email – Canadian Douchebag

Hey ladies, he's single, and looking to make a terrible impression on you today!

I just had a most obnoxious email exchange on Facebook. Some creep named Steve Edward from Canada sent me a message that went from complimentary to disgusting. Apparently he didn’t bother to actually READ my profile as it’s clearly noted that I’m married. However, when I tried to give him a gentle hint, he was still clueless. So when I became more direct and blunt he turned into every woman’s “dream guy”.

Here’s what happened:

Steve Edward 1/26, 8:22pm: Wow what a very pretty lady cheers

(Because Steve Edward is not my friend, his email fell into the “other” inbox on Facebook. Despite my regular presence on FB, I did not find this email until today.)

Me 1/28, 2:39pm: Thank you. My husband agrees!

Steve Edward 1/28, 4:23pm: thanks for the message and thats funny lol, well i am steve from Canada i am single and saw your profile and got attracted to it so do you mind telling me more about your self till then hugs and kisses

Me 1/28, 4:32pm: Steve… or spambot, whichever. Did you miss the part where I mentioned I’m married? Newly married at that.

I’m deeply unfond of cluelessness. So here’s a freebie. Don’t contact me ever again or I shall report you.

Steve Edward 1/28, 4:37pm: if you are married dont contact me , you should just ignore me simple as A B C, thats how a married woman should at ,for your info ,you must be silly alling me a spam bot soon your so called husband will fuck your dirty ass up fool and go to hell

LMAO! What the f#@% is wrong with some people?

I called Chris shortly after this exchange as we had yet to settle our plans for our Date Night dinner tonight. He laughs every time one of these type of whackadoodle emails occur. He doesn’t understand why some people are so broken and f#@%ed up. To be fair, I don’t always understand either.

I love how Steve gets so indignant in the last message, you know, the one AFTER I told him NOT to contact me… he gets so indignant he can’t type then goes all ghetto and actually tells me to go to a place I don’t believe in. All I can assume is that Steve doesn’t really know how to read and he apparently likes pictures. But hey ladies! He’s single! I really can’t imagine why, such a catch! And his mother’s pride and joy!

I love sharing these emails with folks because they’re quite hilarious and almost too outrageous for one to believe. But believe it! I keep every one of these whackadoodle emails documented and on file.

Winter Solstice

Perhaps my second favorite day of the year is now upon us. I look forward to gathering with my folk and celebrating the return of the sun on this beautiful Winter Solstice.

May the sun begin to shine brightly on you this solstice and may you find peace and happiness throughout the coming year. Blessed Yule!

Winter Solstice

Samhain – Remembering Our Loved Ones

Yvonne C. Conway Ancestor Altar 31Oct13 CPY

For as long as I can remember this day has been my favorite day of the year. I remember being a wee little one, doing my best to finish dinner, and my mother insisting on my finishing a few pages in a book as I was just learning to read. I think I was about 4 years old. Not yet started school. I seem to recall it was a book about Pat and his pet pig.

The sun had begun to set and I could already hear other kids wandering the neighborhood with shouts of “Trick or treat!”

I was desperate to finish my meal, chewing was an option. I just wanted to get ready and head out to go join all the fun.

The neighborhood I grew up in had tons of kids and most of the neighborhood participated in one of the best nights of the year. There was usually at least one elaborate “haunted house” on each of the streets within our housing tract. Parents were out with their kids drinking coffee while watching their young ones gleefully knocking on doors and shouting the universal holiday greeting. Trick or treat… hmmm, to be honest, I don’t recall ever doing any tricks to folks that didn’t participate.

Life was grand back then.

For the last 23 years I have lived in the same place and have never once received a trick or treater. Granted, I live in a gated community, and there aren’t many children here. I will also admit, during that time my perspective has shifted as well. I spend it with the more spiritual side of the holiday and its ancient roots.

In my home I keep a large ancestor altar, right in the middle of my living room. You simply can’t miss it! On it are photos of family and friends who have passed on, as well as a large collection of crystal skulls and various mementos. Each year more photos get added as more loved ones pass on. This is also a working altar, so if spells or energy work is needed to be done, this is where I am most likely to do it.

I feel a need to explain that this is not necessarily a typical practice of Wicca. The altar I keep is simply something I’ve always felt a need to do. And the skulls are used mainly for their energy, but I personally enjoy their shape.

At some point I seem to recall hearing something about there being 3 kinds of death. 1) physical death, 2) death of the spirit, and 3) the day when no one remembers you. Being remembered, long after your death, brings a type of immortality. The idea that after you die and no one remembers you seems so sad to me. So I do my best not to forget my friends and family who’ve passed on and by keeping the altar in the main living space they are remembered and included in our day to day lives.

Despite this day being my favorite of the year it’s tinged with sadness as it’s also the 2 year anniversary of the day I lost my only pregnancy. I spent the entire afternoon in the ER. It was an awful day. It was a bit early to tell, but we had the impression we were expecting a son. We had already decided on the name “Henry” for him. So in memory of him, I placed a pair of baby socks we’d purchased just weeks before on the altar. They were little Frankenstein socks; seasonal as well as a connection to his father who has an affinity to Frankenstein and old Hollywood monsters.

Adding to that misfortune, this year is a bit less bright as I had to put my “first-born son”, BigBoy kitty, to sleep, after a long battle with medical ailments, just over a month ago. BBk was born in my bathroom; I actually assisted in his birth – hence the “first-born son” title. He was my best bud, and he made quite an impression on anyone whoever met him. They knew him well at the vets and spoke quite lovingly of him whenever we came in. One of the hospitals even made a donation in his name to an organization that helps injured animals.

This year things feel a bit off, and my mood is far more somber than celebratory. Today I chose to stay home alone. I lit candles and incense on the altar, sang to my mother and children, and tonight I’m spending time with my loved ones… while The Addams Family movie plays on tv for our entertainment. Well… at least two of my cats are watching right now. Not sure about everyone else.

So as the wheel turns, bringing the dark times of the year to us once again, and the veil thins so our loved ones are just a bit closer, I wish each of you a Blessed Samhain and a Happy Halloween!

RANDOM MUSIC

This is a classic American spiritual folk song that may have originated in the early 19th century and I have heard many artists cover, but I really enjoy Ed Sheeran’s version. He’s changed the lyrics a bit and the entire song is just his voice, music and all.

Ed Sheeran – Wayfaring Stranger