Work Worth: Mom vs. Dad

For the past nine or so years, they have put out the “What is a mom’s work worth” around mother’s day, and every year Kurt starts ranting as soon as it comes on without even listening to it. He acts like it’s painful to even consider.

Kurt: What about dads? Dads come home from work and then become the handy man, carpenter, landscaper, daycare/babysitter, auto mechanic, and porn star.

Me: *snickering*

Kurt: Don’t laugh, I’m a porn star, and I want to be paid for it!

Me: *laughing*

Kurt: *raised eyebrow* I am a porn star?

Me: Yes, you’re a porn star.

Kurt: Good, you may live.

Now there is a calculator on salary.com to find out what a mom and dad are worth weather they’re stay-at-home or working. I have several beef’s with this calculator however.

  • Dad’s get paid more. Even if you select stay-at-home-dad their national average for pay is higher than the stay-at-home-mom. A dad’s range is from 71k to 186k with an average while a mom’s is 68k to 181k.
  • There is a less varied set of tasks for dad than for mom yet dad is still paid more on average.
    • The list for dad consists of, Day Care Center Teacher, Cook – Institution, Computer Operator I, Laundry Machine Operator, Facilities Manager, Chief Executive Officer, Van Driver, Psychologist, General Maintenance Worker I, and Groundskeeper.
    • The list for mom consists of, Housekeeper, Day Care Center Teacher, Cook, Computer Operator, Facilities Manager, Van Driver, Psychologist, Laundry Machine Operator, Janitor, Chief Executive Officer, Interior, Designer, Administrative Assistant, Event Planner, Bookkeeper, General Maintenance Worker, Groundskeeper, Nutritionist, Staff Nurse – RN, Plumber, and Logistics Analyst.
  • Neither parent should be paid for their psychology expertise unless they have a fucking degree in psychology, and even then it’s bad practice to use it on family or any one with whom you have influence over beyond that of psychologist. Parents practicing psychology on their kids turn the children into fucking basket cases, so don’t do it.
  • Psychologist should probably be called ‘coach’ or in the case of households with more than one child, ‘referee’.
  • They don’t list ‘porn star’ for either mom or dad.

Social Security for Illegal Beaners

I must start by saying that the neither original email nor person that sent it offends me. I totally understand not wanting people illegally living within our borders to receive benefits–especially benefits that are already in jeopardy for its own citizens. Fortunately, the email is a false alarm. I privately sent the link to the corresponding Snopes article to my friend. Here is the original email sent out that started my email debate with a total stranger:

SOCIAL SECURITY CHANGES

It does not matter if you personally like or dislike Obama. You need to sign this petition and flood his e-mail box with e-mails that tell him that, even if the House passes this bill, he needs to veto it. It is already impossible to live on Social Security alone. If the government gives benefits to ‘illegal’ aliens who have never contributed, where does that leave those of us who have paid into Social Security all our working lives?

As stated below, the Senate voted this week to allow ‘illegal’ aliens access to Social Security benefits.

Attached is an opportunity to sign a petition that requires citizenship for eligibility to that social service.

Instructions are below. If you don’t forward the petition and just stop it, we will lose all these names.

If you do not want to sign it, please just forward it to everyone you know.

Thank you!

To add your name, click on ‘forward’.

Address it to all of your email correspondents, add your name to the list and send it on.

When the petition hits 1,000, send it to comment@whitehouse.gov

PETITION for President Obama:

Dear Mr. President:

We, the undersigned, protest the bill that the Senate voted on recently which would allow illegal aliens to access our Social Security. We demand that you and all Congressional representatives require citizenship as a pre-requisite for social services in the United States.

We further demand that there not be any amnesty given to illegal aliens, NO free services, no funding, no payments to and for illegal immigrants.

Hours after receiving this email from a friend I received a response from someone I didn’t know. I should have deleted the email but I read it, so I felt compelled to respond. Email from a total stranger:

Hey Guys~~ ALWAYS check any of this kind of junk out on before you get all upset and send it out for a thousand signatures. The place to send anything political like this is directly to your representatives in Congress, and you can find their names at . After you figure out the site and copy or write your beef, I always pay the extra little bit by credit card to have it HAND-DELIVERED to whomever!! It can also just be sent by e-mail from there and it’s free, but they get millions of those, so the hand-delivered ones have more clout. I can’t remember how much it costs, but it isn’t terrible, and you just do it through a credit card. Then I also write myself a note and stick it up by my computer, so when I see a weird charge on my credit card statement, I’ll remember what it is!!

However, yes, I agree, the illegal aliens are over-running our country into the millions of people and a new baby every year, yet they don’t even bother to learn English or even TRY to become citizens. I am in Gulf Shores, AL, now yet for the winter (it’s great down here!), and, some days in WalMart, I think I’m in Mexico. There are Mexicans all over the place and all speaking their native gobbledegook Spanish. very cute, very nice, but also VERY illegal. Also, THEY get the jobs that my boyfriend would otherwise be doing, and don’t be fooled by what you hear! They charge just as much for the work as any CITIZEN would charge; they do NOT work cheaper. Yet, they pay NO taxes, get free medical, everything cow-tows to their language, e.g. “press 1 for English”, etc. Exactly WHEN did the operator ever say to our LEGAL ancestors: “Press 2 for Polish, press 3 for German, Press 4 for Italian, etc.” AND, our school budgets have to include BI-LINGUAL teachers to teach these illegals!! We need English declared as the primary language of our country, and we need to press our congress people to send them back to their own countries unless they PROVE they are actively pursuing legalization and residency. MOST of their current papers and documents are FORGED!

This is where you check out Snopes and how useless these signature things are

http://www.snopes.com/politics/immigration/petition.asp

Thanks for reading my bitch of the day!

Former singles group member~~still single , (with a 10 year boyfriend)

(Signed with her full name and email address)

The first paragraph was fine. Good advice in fact. The second paragraph made my ass twitch. I didn’t know this person and I thought that she was a friend of my friend who had hit ‘reply-all’, so without going into detail about what I found offensive or which parts of her rant were pure bullshit. I responded with:

Before you hit “reply all” on your emails maybe you should check to see if you know all the people on the list. I’m the daughter of a Mexican and I find your rant offensive and brimming with ignorance.

Beaner Hater’s reply back to me (*note in the areas where I quote her all text emphasis is hers.):

I didn’t hit: Reply all. I copied and pasted EXACTLY and sent it back to all the people who had received the first one. And I really don’t give a damn how “offended” you are. IF you are a citizen and IF you have any decency, you should be ASHAMED of the way the Mexicans and have invaded our country!! I have a brother-in-law and nieces and nephews who are Mexican, and only the children are legal, by accident of birth. The fact remains that illegal Mexicans and every other illegal foreigner who is living off OUR money is stealing the food, education, jobs, and housing from people who ARE citizens and who DID learn to speak English. So, wake up and smell the roses, Erica, because the tax-paying citizens of this country are NOT going to put up with FREE-LOADERS any more. We will be having OUR revolution long before your illegals get organized enough to try their revolution. OUR ancestors HAD to become legal, and yours damn well better too!! Stealing is a sin!! And you are probably SUPPOSED to be Catholic, whether you practice it or not! The illegals are STEALING what belong to our citizens! Other Presidents have sent illegal back where they came from, and that just now became my goal~to have Congress and the President get rid of these leeches who refuse to learn English and become citizens. You are NOT any better than our ancestors! THEY did it LEGALLY!! They did not cheat and steal from the citizens and use forged documents!!

*signed her name*

(100% legal American citizen!)

The way she worded the bit about her copying and pasting the email exactly and sending it to all the people that received the first one made me think she took the long route to basically hitting ‘reply all’ so in my reply to her I said it was the same thing. I later learned that I had misunderstood her. One of the people that was forwarded this email by my friend then went on to forward it themselves only this person didn’t remove the list of names and email addresses from the top of the email thus passing my name and email on to be snatched up by a bitter beaner hater. The beaner hater passed on a rant to my friend and all the people to whom she sent the email along with all the people to whom the beaner hater’s friend sent it.

In response to her stating she didn’t care how offended I am I said, “Fair enough”. It let me know that I could take the kid gloves off. She meant what she wrote and was standing behind it all. It also made me think that she sent her rant to people she didn’t know possibly because she saw my email address in which I state my ethnicity in what is regarded as a derogatory manner by some.

To her assertion that I should be, “ASHAMED of the way the Mexicans and have invaded our country” I told her that her ancestors had no more right to the area they occupied anyone seeking a new country to call home now. I also wrote that an illegal foreigner buying food is no more stealing than her buying food, sending kids to public school, or working a job that files papers to the IRS. Just because they don’t speak English doesn’t mean they are illegal. There are plenty of foreigners from other countries that stick within their own group and don’t learn English. And if they’re competing for the same job as her or her boyfriend then it’s probably work ‘under the table’ and she isn’t paying her fair share. Otherwise, papers are being filed and taxes are being paid.

About her revolution comment, I wrote, “I’m shaking in my boots”. About ancestors becoming legal, I wrote that the US has added and changed laws since the influx of European immigrants back in the 1800’s.

I gave her the category which my philosophy falls under, but that I didn’t see the relevance between that and stealing, which is against the law. All religions aside stealing would probably still be against the law.

A lack of citizenship is not always a refusal to become a citizen. The rules have changed. Besides many have work permits or green cards. Those would be the ones that might actually compete for the same jobs, but if they have that they’re considered legal.

Her exclaiming that I’m not any better than ‘our’ ancestors made me think I might be arguing with someone off their meds, but I continued, “Please show me where I stated that I was better than anyone.” In reply to her exclaiming that her ancestors came in legally I said, “They came over on a boat hoping to be let in.”

Though she may have been speaking about her ancestors specifically in saying that they didn’t cheat, steal or use forged documents I opened it up to all immigrants and replied, “Bullshit. Forged documents are not unique to Mexican immigrants nor is it a new concept.”

Beaner Hater then sent me another forwarded email with this to say:

This is an e-mail I received AFTER your recent ignorant response! It should help you realize how universal the disgust is for the freeloaders on our society. This comes from my cousin in California, a state that has also been overtaken by the leeches. So, please feel free to be offended again! Your “feeling offended” simply shows your ignorance of the disgust over our being invaded by people who can’t bother to correct the ills in their own countries, so they bring them all into ours!

*signed her name*

FIFTY YEARS OF MATH:

2009 (in the USA )

Last week I purchased a burger at Burger King for $1.58. The counter girl took my $ 2 and I was digging for my change when I pulled 8 cents from my pocket and gave it to her. She stood there, holding the nickel and 3 pennies, while looking at the screen on her register. I sensed her discomfort and tried to tell her to just give me two quarters , but she hailed the manager for help. While he tried to explain the transaction to her, she stood there and cried.

Why do I tell you this? Because of the evolution in teaching math since the 1950s:

1. Teaching Math In 1950s
A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price. What is his profit ?

2. Teaching Math In 1960s
A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price, or $80. What is his profit?

3. Teaching Math In 1970s
A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80. Did he make a profit?

4. Teaching Math In 1980s
A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80 and his profit is $20. Your assignment: Underline the number 20.

5. Teaching Math In 1990s
A logger cuts down a beautiful forest because he is selfish and inconsiderate and cares nothing for the habitat of animals or the preservation of our woodlands. He does this so he can make a profit of $20. What do you think of this way of making a living? Topic for class participation after answering the question: How did the birds and squirrels feel as 20 the logger cut down their homes? (There are no wrong answers, and if you feel like crying, it’s ok. )

6. Teaching Math In 2009
Un hachero vende una carretada de maderapara $100. El costo de la producciones es $80. Cuanto dinero ha hecho?

I wish I had responded to her ignorance in thinking that Mexican’s are the only ones that immigrated instead of bothering to correct the ills in their own countries, but I didn’t. Instead I wrote, “I’m ignorant? I should think that the email you forwarded speaks more to the decline in the US educational system over the last forty years than to immigration. If you knew more than one language, you’d realize that at least in the Spanish version, it returns to math.”

She became very agitated presumably about my assertion that illegal documents are not unique to Mexicans and wrote, “You are obviously too ignorant to waste my time on. My ancestors did it LEGALLY!! Yours are too cheap and ignorant!! LEGAL is the word!!

She also wrote a paragraph about my choice of life philosophy calling anyone with my same inclination a loser and then telling me again, how ignorant I am. Then she signed off with, “You are too ignorant for me to correspond with any further. I will pray for you though I think you are beyond help!”

I knew that wouldn’t be the end of it though. I emailed her with:

I know you say I’m not worth your time but you still hit reply (or copy and paste then send). Your specific ancestors may have come over legally but others didn’t. And yet we still have Irish, German, Polish and other ethnic groups of people all over the US. Your focus is on Mexicans because they’re the latest influx of foreigners, and our closest neighbor. You see many Mexicans around you and seem to assume that because they’re speaking Spanish that they’re illegal. Did it never occur to you that they’re speaking the language most comfortable to them? If I moved to Spain, Germany, or other non-English speaking country, I would probably speak English to my family and to English-speaking friends, and even to people in public who knew English well enough that we could communicate more effectively in the language with which I’m more comfortable.

I also responded to some of her religious comments but I’m leaving most of it out because I still don’t find them relevant to the original topic. I will say that I ended my email with bait by telling her, “Your belief that I’m beyond help demonstrates a lack of faith” and “frankly, your whole tone isn’t very Christian”. It was a cheap shot but I knew it would keep my new debate playmate in the game.

She sent two replies. The first was mostly her chomping on the bait. She told me how powerful her god is and that he created everything from nothing. She had mentioned this previously and I had replied snarkily that I had co-created a baby. So she now asked how I made the egg and sperm and then ended with, “And yes, my boyfriend works side by side with illegals doing very legal cement-finishing jobs. The illegals are coming out of the woodwork down here! I know the whole game. Like I said, my sister is married to an illegal, and he’s still sneaking around under her name for over 10 years already. So, she is equally ignorant to be an enabler!”

I wrote, “I’m tempted to write a very condescending paragraph about how sperm and eggs are made and how they meet to make a baby, but I’ll refrain.” and I responded to the last bit with:

If your boyfriend is working with illegals I’m assuming that you mean they have the same employer, which leads me to wonder why either of you aren’t turning the company in to the authorities? Isn’t allowing the company to hire illegals enabling? If these illegals have false documents then they aren’t freeloaders because taxes are being taken out of their paychecks though I’m not sure how you would be privy to knowing that their documents aren’t legitimate. Otherwise they must have work permits or green cards either through work or family sponsorship that allow them to legally work in the US and are therefore paying into the system legally just like your boyfriend. That instance is not a case of an ‘illegal’ taking jobs away from citizens. That is an immigrant seeking a better life for his or her family just as your ancestors did.

If your sister is married to someone that crossed legally or illegally he can still get a work permit or green card if she sponsors him, which makes him LEGAL! It doesn’t matter if he takes her name, the other way around, or neither change names. I’m guessing if he’s been married to her for ten years that he has already gone through the green card process, and is therefore NOT ILLEGAL.

In her second response to the previous email she again chomped on the bait but because it mingles with the actual topic somewhat and it’ll explain my last response her, which I’m leaving whole, I will include parts of her tirade. The *snip* is me leaving parts out. I didn’t do any editing aside from removing parts.

My God, the Supreme Being, gave EACH PERSON a conscience and a free will. I have no control over your conscience and free will~~only YOU do! *snip* I have very deep Faith in God *snip* YOUR choices are NOT MY FAULT, much as you would like it to be. Very typical of a cop-out, loser type!

As far as my tone being Christian or not, you wouldn’t know *snip* My God made 10 commandments, and cheating and stealing things that legally belong to the people who EARNED them because they paid taxes, is called a sin, as you know because you were raised Catholic! Christ ALWAYS punished people who were breaking His laws!! My thinking is VERY Christian, even though you have the type of thinking that leeches who live off other people always have!

You are simply too ignorant and have chosen to be a loser! You don’t even think beyond your God-given nose! My prayers are for all losers like you to begin to use the brain God gave them!

I wrote that I don’t blame or credit her with any of my choices. I don’t know her, so I’m sure she didn’t influence any of them. I also don’t blame or credit a supreme being for my choices. I also wrote that I would know a Christian tone because I can look up the Christian teachings and see that they’re supposed to follow a loving god, and they are to treat others as they wish to be treated leaving their god to pass judgment. Then I threw ‘free will’ back in her face and attempted to show that supreme beings don’t have a place in an argument about illegal foreigners. I wrote, “No god drew a line at the US and Mexican border. That was done by people acting on their own free will. Any laws broken by people crossing the arbitrary line created by the two governments answer to the respective governments.”

She only replied to my email about her boyfriend being an enabler. Her first paragraph read:

Sorry, but you could never write ANY article about how a sperm is created and meets and egg, condescending or otherwise, because you would need to start with a creature or substance made by God. You could not make any sperm or egg from zero, NOTHING! No person, no test tube, no sand no dirt, no seed, etc. , ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! You could not create the sperm OR the egg or ANYTHING out of NOTHING!

After another paragraph which includes her stating, “God does not need any “Bible” to prove anything! He simply IS!! Like the air you breathe, IF HE LETS YOU!!” She finally wrote:

Obviously there are many more illegals in this country than you know about. Cement-finishing is an independent job, like housecleaning or babysitting, and not one that has an “employer” or “company” to report. You might want a sidewalk poured, so you call the number on the ad in the paper. Most illegals work in jobs like this, simply BECAUSE there is no “company” to report! They know that the government isn’t going to monkey with such small potatoes! They WANT the companies, but most of the companies DO hire only people with green cards, so the illegals are harder to track down in a bunch. The difference with the undocumented aliens, from ANY country, but especially Mexico, is that the majority have NO INTENTION of EVER learning English or becoming citizens! THIS is where they differ from MY ancestors! That was their primary goal when they got here! They wanted to be citizens and worked hard to get their LEGAL papers. The Mexicans don’t! They are a different breed and don’t WANT to fit in!

My final reply in full:

You’re right; I couldn’t write an answer that you would find condescending because for some reason your answers require a supernatural deity that is benevolent, omnipotent, yet jealous, vengeful and randomly doles out free will. Any scientific explanation I give, which if I began with the dawn of time would include the big bang theory and the theory of evolution, you would probably either refute as misinformation dreamt up silly scholars that don’t spend enough time worshiping your egotistical deity or creations of said deity. I can’t argue with blind faith. It’s yours, you keep it. But I can’t stop questioning because without that I stop learning. How exactly is it possible for something to have always been? How much space does a deity take up? How much does a deity weigh? How is there only one deity? Were the Greek and/or Romans correct in believing in multiple deities containing strengths, weaknesses and human emotions? If the Greek and/or Roman deities are dismissed as fakes why not the Christian one as well?

Based on some of your responses about your “illegal” brother in-law and your nieces and nephews who are only citizens “by accident of birth” you seem to think there are a whole lot more illegal immigrants than in reality. By your word usages, my father is an “enabler” for marrying my mother, my mother is an illegal even though for 30 plus years she was merely a green card carrier, and I’m only a citizen “by accident of birth”. This would mean all of the first generation Americans of your own ancestors were also merely citizens “by accident of birth”. Is my daughter, second generation American, considered legal enough for you? At what generation level is the stain of having Mexican heritage removed for you? By the way, my mother, her sister, and their three nephews that came from Mexico all speak English. All of the Mexican families I grew up around were able to speak English.

I don’t deny the existence of many illegal immigrants in the US. And I’m quite sure the Border States have more illegal immigrants than where I am. I know that for contract work many individual homeowners will round up a group at Home Depot (or other such home improvement store) and pay by the day for a particular project. Yes, those are hard to catch. But unlike the assertion in your original rant, those people aren’t paid as much especially if they don’t speak English and aren’t licensed and bonded as I’m sure your tax-paying boyfriend is. They’re paid what the homeowner (or whom ever) is willing to pay. That’s why people pick illegal immigrants up for projects; they’re willing to work for less. The homeowner in this case is the employer and can still be turned in for hiring an illegal worker. If you know that the workers your boyfriend is surrounded by are illegal, you’re still an enabler by not turning them in. I’m guessing that local law enforcement would be more helpful than going through the federal government. It doesn’t matter how “small potatoes” it is, if you report it they have to make an effort to investigate.

Those illegal workers aren’t getting free health care as also asserted in your original rant. They do get free emergency care because doctors don’t wait for paperwork in order save the life of a fellow human. I agree that illegal immigrants should be processed for a legal work visa or face deportation but I wouldn’t want to live in a country so cold as to let a fellow human die simply because of the manner in which he or she crossed a country border.

The “free-loaders”, as you like to refer to illegal immigrants that work beside your boyfriend, I found actually pay more in taxes than they cost in social services. From the peer reviewed Tax Lawyer journal from the American Bar Association (http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=881584):

Undocumented immigrants, like all U.S. citizens and residents, are required to pay taxes. Despite the historic and strong American opposition to taxation without representation, undocumented immigrants (except in rare and unusual cases) have not enjoyed the right to vote on any local, state or federal tax or other matter for almost eighty years. Nevertheless, each year undocumented immigrants add billions of dollars in sales, excise, property, income and payroll taxes, including Social Security, Medicare and unemployment taxes, to federal, state and local coffers. Hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants go out of their way to file annual federal and state income tax returns.

Yet undocumented immigrants are barred from almost all government benefits, including food stamps, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Medicaid, federal housing programs, Supplemental Security Income, Unemployment Insurance, Social Security, Medicare, and the earned income tax credit (EITC). Generally, the only benefits federally required for undocumented immigrants are emergency medical care, subject to financial and category eligibility, and elementary and secondary public education. Many undocumented immigrants will not even access these few critical government services because of their ever-present fear of government officials and deportation.

They aren’t thieves.

It’s been a month and she hasn’t emailed back. What do you think? Did I win the debate? ;-)

Down Bureaucracy Lane: Social Security Card

I’m beginning to feel more and more curmudgeony the further I venture down the American tradition of marriage and assuming a new identity. Today’s adventure is courtesy of the Social Security department of perpetual impatient rudeness. I know it’s a really monotonous job and dealing with the public can be very painful. I understand having a bad day and don’t expect miles of smiles and grace with every human encounter. I don’t care about any of that. I only care that when my number is called that I’m given half a chance to get to the window or door from which it’s being called. I was in the back of the room, but I’m not that slow. I knew my number was next because I can fuckin’ count despite being a product of public education.

I dreaded going to the department incapable of moving faster than frozen molasses with a toddler, but Sophia did great. I was armed with a sippy cup of milk and her current favorite snack “cheee”, string cheese. Sophia was superb at entertaining herself crawling under my chair with her “chee” and a pink pen with the cap on. I kept hearing people comment on how cute she was and looking at me smiling. It felt great having a good kid, but I worried about how long this might last.

The social security office has five windows and runs three sets of numbers; I assume the number set obtained from the computer depends on the reason for one’s visit. I was number B164. The number on the screen was B163. Awesome, it should take too long.

One man at the front of the room went up to the security officer to ask a question about his number. Apparently he didn’t hear when his number was called two numbers ago. The officer told him that they always call the numbers three times. He lies. He then directed the man to inquire at one of the windows behind me at the back of the room which was not serving a person at the time.

I kept watching the window with the sign that read, “Social Security Cards” over it on the opposite side of the room from me. I was sure that’s where my number would be called from. I didn’t see when the number changed on the sign but I did hear my number called once from a door in the front of the room. I stood up with my things and reached for Sophia. I looked up again and the door was closing behind someone else. What the fuck? I waited assuming the person just had to grab something and would be back shortly. I sat back down. I waited two full minutes.

Not wanting to be skipped I went to the window behind me where a lady sat working on papers but without a customer. I told her my number was on the screen and it was called from the door but that it closed before I could get to it. “Oh don’t worry they’ll call your number when they’re ready” she told me.

“They did call the number from the door, but someone else went back there.” I didn’t actually know if it was another person or the person that called the number who I saw as the door closed. All I know is that it closed before I even left my seat.

“Really? How odd.” She said, “Well I’ll put your number on the list and they’ll call you. I just need to finish my applications first.” She said the last part as if I was being unreasonably impatient or rude.

Minutes later I was called to the window I assumed would be calling me in the first place. Sophia followed me and several, “Aaww, isn’t she cute?” “She’s so cute.” Statements could be heard. I sat down and Sophia tried to climb up on the chair next to me but could because there wasn’t a bar across the legs to help boost her up, so I gave her a lift. She sat quietly next to me for the next ten minutes while my papers were processed.

As I was leaving the lady behind the door appeared again. She called out, “A70”. There was a brief pause. “A71” she said. I looked at the board and it had changed from 70 to 71 and then 72 after another brief pause. This room isn’t that big. I’m not very good at guessing room sizes, but it’s maybe thirty by thirty feet. There are about 72 chairs (6 rows of 12) in the room with a path around them all and a path down the middle of the chairs. The woman wasn’t giving anyone a chance. As I walked out, I heard two people say, “Hey they skipped my number.”

Sophia held my hand all the way down the stairs and across the parking lot to the truck. I had her let go so I could unlock the truck and she took off. OHGOD! Like most parking lots this one was filled with crazy drivers not paying any attention and in very close proximity to a very heavily traveled street. I chased her down. She thought mommy was playing games and took off faster until she tripped and hit her forehead on the pavement. This is her first road rash goose egg, and oh what a goose egg. The bruise she has under her eye from trying to climb up a slide is finally going away and she had to get yet another bruise. *sigh*

Marriage Certificate Plan B for Bureaucracy

Our lost marriage certificate was never found. I contacted the judge that performed the ceremony and he in turn contacted the vital records department to find out what to do. The judge received a new license application with our marriage license application number penned in on the top. He filled out his section, I picked it up at the courthouse, and Kurt and I filled out our section. The date used on the new form was to stay the same as the ceremony date and the judge asked that we approximate the date that we first applied for our marriage license on the applicable part of the form. Kurt being the anal retentive pack rat fastidious record keeper that he is looked up the receipt from three months ago and entered the EXACT date in which we filled out the application. We then hunted down our witnesses for their signatures.

Yesterday our adventure took us to the county courthouse. Actually, Sophia and I took a field trip to the vital records department. I walked up to the desk around eleven. There were two people processing the vital records line. Each of them finished with one person and the guy took the person in front of me. I was about the approach the lady when she indicated that the other person would help me. Ok, no big deal. Then she felt bad for some reason and took me before going on break. Because everything had been done according to the directions of the judge, I was confident that all was smooth sailing. Apparently it was an unusual ‘glass half full’ day for me because smooth wasn’t exactly how it went down. Sandpaper in place of toilet tissue, anyone?

I handed the woman behind the counter my newly completed form. The lady stared at the paper and then looked at me, “when was this completed?” she asked. Well, the judge signed this particular paper around the 16th or 17th, then I got my sticky little hands on it and filled out my section on the 20th or 21st. I don’t remember the date the first witness signed it since it was my husbands job to hunt him down but the second witness signed it on the 24th. Why? Isn’t that how this is supposed to work?

I actually explained that the original was lost and the judge had us fill out this new one. She looked at me as if I was crazy. This doesn’t have the header across the top. She looked at me for an explanation. At this point her coworker audibly apologized to her for having her take my case. Asshole. It’s not my fault this became complicated. “That’s the form the judge gave us to fill out.” Saying it felt a lot like using a stupid excuse on a grade school teacher. “But really, the dog did eat my homework.” She shot a look as if to say, “Really? You’re going to stick with the, ‘it’s lost’ story?”

She banged away at her keyboard and then sighed, “I don’t have access.” She told her coworker. He had finished with his customer and joined in with her. Both of them then got up, went in separate directions, and told two different people at the other end of the room. I could hear them say, “She lost her marriage license.” Goddamnit! I wanted to shout that I wasn’t the one that lost it. I don’t know who did, it could have been the judge, the lackey that he had mail it, the various postal workers that handle mail from his courthouse to this one, an internal mail sorter, or someone with in the vital statistics department. We won’t mention the last one to them it may make them cry. I refrained from proclaiming my innocents for fear of being cast in the next Jerry Seinfeld spin off “Mundane Mayhem”, or worse the next Jerry Springer show.

Another employee came up to the woman’s computer and punched some keys. She came back to the desk with the paper I handed to her. “Do you know where the original is?” Are you fuckin’ kidding me lady? If I knew where the original was don’t you think I would have handed it to you? Is there something about the way I look that makes her think I enjoy hanging out at the courthouse making people jump through hoops by telling them I lost a piece of paper that I paid $62 to obtain? I know I live in a podunk saw-toothed mouth-harp-playing hick-town but waiting in lines is still not a pastime I seek out. It really isn’t. Dumbass. I could be at home watching Clifford the Big Red Dog for chrissakes.

Keeping my face a stone like as possible so that my infamous sneer of disdain didn’t become too obvious I simply said, “uumm no”. She looked at me and sighed. Yep, I’m still sticking to my story. It was lost. She went to consult with yet another person and then came back again.

“Ok,” she said, “we’re going to do this for you.” Wow, I feel honored. Truly.

I don’t know why I assumed that there was a backup plan for when situations like this arise. Between all the marriages, divorces and remarriages I would think that someone in the history of the county has had their paperwork lost before. We had the judge call them and they sent him the paper and instructions. One would think that they would make some sort of notation on our file.

Washington Revenue Plan, Teachers for Liquor Stores

A few days ago, I watched on King 5 news about our state cutting funds for all k-12 schools. At the end of the report, they listed three things that on the table for increasing state revenue. The one that stood out was opening more state run liquor stores. Is it just me or does that sound like an odd set of priorities? I suppose all the laid off teachers can then catch up with their students in a few years while selling them liquor at one of the 16 new stores. Maybe the pay will be better too. Unfortunately, they won’t get the summer off and will have to work weekends, including Sundays.

I don’t care that they’re expanding to Sundays. Unlike some of the residents in states with dry counties, I’m not diluted in thinking that closing one day a week will dry out an alcoholic. Kind of like making drugs illegal doesn’t stop people from magically obtaining them, switching to drugs that are legal, sniffing paint, or licking toad bellies. It especially doesn’t have an effect because here state run liquor stores only have an monopoly on hard liquor, wine and beer can be sold in grocery stores. Cold beer is usually on the same isle as non-alcoholic fizzy drinks, cheese and lunchmeat. This leads me to believe that opening more liquor stores isn’t going to add very much revenue. That sounds more like the old Starbucks business model and we know how well they’re doing now. Granted alcohol is considerably more recession proof than five-dollar a cup coffee, which makes me wonder why our state doesn’t ever have enough money for roads and schools. You have a monopoly on hard liquor and you run one of the few legalized gambling schemes (Lotto). What gives?

I’m thinking you should close all the state run liquor stores and let the grocery stores sell Brandy so I don’t have to send Kurt to the liquor store after work. It bugs the shit out of me that I can’t go in with a minor nor leave said minor in the car while I run in and buy a stinkin’ bottle of Brandy to complete whatever recipe I’ve been drooling over on the cooking channel. You may add whatever stupid sin tax you need to, I know you will, but if you want to save money close the damn liquor stores. Let someone else handle the hard stuff. Keep the teachers, we need them so our kids can get good jobs and not drown their workless woes in a bottle.

Fruit budget

I was just watching one of those clean-up-your-shit-so-you-can-sell-you-house-you-stupid-slob shows and I’ve noticed that on all of these shows they add bowls of fruit to the room. Really? Fruit sells the house? After they clear all the unnecessary crap so that the house would actually show well they add a bowl of green apples to the dining room and a dish with a pineapple and bananas in the kitchen. They go through each room and list any expenses like paint or added furniture to complete the look but the fruit budget is never factored in for us. I want to know how much to spend on fruit to sell my house damn it! And how often should the fruit be rotated out in order to keep the fruit fly levels down to a dull roar?

Why do I torture myself with these shows? It’s simple people, if you have a narrow path or need to clear a path to get into rooms of your house…YOU HAVE TOO MUCH SHIT! It makes the house hard to sell. It’s difficult to convince people how nice the hardwood floors are if a shovel is needed to see them. Either get rid of it or rent a storage unit.

55 Flash non-Fiction Friday: Death with Dignity

Requiring terminally ill to linger in pain is cruel. What’s the point of a ‘death with dignity’ law if medical practitioners aren’t required to participate? Doctors claim a ‘do no harm’ clause, but opting for lethal doses of medication isn’t different from opting out of a beneficial medication, which has always been a legal choice.

55 Flash Fiction Friday