I wish I had the courage to be as open about my political leanings, thoughts on current events and opinions on social issues in my blog as Ronni is over at Time Goes By. She’s my new blogging hero. But given her long career as a TV producer for shows on 20/20, PBS, CBS and the Barbara Walters Specials I suspect she’s been seasoned well to take more heat than chicken me has ever taken for speaking up in public---if, in fact, she does get nasty, defamatory or hateful emails from people who disagree with the opinions she blogs. Her comment section is not moderated and I don’t see any signs of her getting disrespectful feedback so maybe it doesn’t happen? I find that fascinating. I don’t even see occasional spam in her comments which my moderator function catches from time to time. I mostly use the moderator function, though, so I don’t miss a comment because I feel if someone takes the time to leave one I want to acknowledge it.
Part of the problem with me being more open on certain topics is I’ve learned from early childhood not to talk about religion and politics in public because there were very real repercussions. For example, I had a friend in early grade school tell me on the playground that she couldn’t play with me anymore because I didn’t go to her church. I’d been to her house the day before and her mother had asked The Church question that I would hear often in my life. Have I mentioned that I live in an area once proudly labeled the City of Churches? I had a guy in high school tell me---after meeting his parents---that he couldn’t date me anymore because I didn’t go to the right church. Growing up and well into my 20s, “What church do you go to?” was the second question most people asked. Heck, even today it comes up often when I meet someone new. Early on I learned to lie and name one of the four “approved” churches in my neighborhood. I don’t lie anymore when answering that question but I’m very skilled at giving non-committal answers to the you-should-try-my-church comments that follow. During the Feminist Movement in the ‘60s (my awakening into the world of politics) the people I worked with were so anti-anything that didn’t involve women being subservient that I kept my involvement in the movement top secret. I remember once sitting in the coffee room and listening to a conversation and thinking, “God, these people think people who think like I do have horns growing out of our heads!”
Another part of the problem with me getting more open about the my thoughts on current events and politics here is the title and original purpose of my blog. It started out as a way to deal with my newly minted widowhood and it has evolved from there to a blog about one woman’s search for something elusive---new friends and contentment. I just don’t know how I can make politics and current events fit into my unwritten mission statement for The Misadventures of Widowhood but I somehow think they are connected. I have spent my entire life not being totally honest and open when I meet new people and that is standing in the way of forming anything beyond surface friendships. I'm tired of pretending! How’s that for a new revelation? They think I’m a nice, sweet and agreeable pin cushion and inside I feel like a phony who wants to scream, “I might not go to the right church but I still have good values and a code of ethics that has been intrinsic in every civilized society that has ever walked on earth!” I’d even settle for being able to say to someone face-to-face, “I don’t agree with you because….” I can do it on-line and with four people in my life, but that’s all. The little girl inside is still afraid if I'm honest about my liberal politics and Humanist-as-opposed-religious leanings people will say, “I can’t play with you anymore.”
This isn’t my first blog. I have/had seven others that cover different stages of my life. I could start another where I introduce the “me” that is striving to be more like Ronni at Time Goes By but it’s such a hard decision. My five blogs that are still available on-line plus my Yahoo articles have a combined view count of over 450,000. I think I’m afraid that a new blog would rack up a 50 or so before drying up. Okay, confession time. I’m addicted to my view counter. It’s like validation but the 64 million dollar question is: “What does it validate?” Maybe that a dyslexia, left-handed little girl who had trouble learning how to read, spell, tie her shoes and tell time didn’t deserve the “stupid” label she heard as a little girl? Or maybe that I am worth playing with out in the big scary world? I’m not sure which, but if there is a moral to this post it would be to be careful what you say to kids because they carry labels with them forever. Do you have a label buried deep inside of you? ©