Welcome to the Misadventures of Widowhood blog!

In January of 2012 my soul mate of 42 years passed away after nearly 12 years of living with severe disabilities due to a stroke. I survived the first year after Don’s death doing what most widows do---trying to make sense of my world turned upside down. The pain and heartache of loss, my dark humor, my sweetest memories and, yes, even my pity parties are well documented in this blog.

Now that I’m a "seasoned widow" the focus of my writing has changed. I’m still a widow looking through that lens but I’m also a woman searching for contentment, friends and a voice in my restless world. Some people say I have a quirky sense of humor that shows up from time to time in this blog. Others say I make some keen observations about life and growing older. I say I just write about whatever passes through my days---the good, bad and the ugly. Comments welcome and encouraged. Let's get a dialogue going! Jean

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

It’s Mueller Time in the Suburbs


Bob Barr gave a speech a few hours before he released the redacted Mueller Report and shortly afterward I got a phone call from a decades-old friend who started yelling about how Trump was going to slip out of all his wrong doings without even a slap out on the hand and how Mueller turned out to be just another puppet for the Republican party. “Two years spent on investigating that ‘prick’ was a waste of time and money!”

My friend, W.G., went to high school with my husband and when Don died, the political conversations those two had every few weeks transferred to me but yelling is not part of our usual M.O. I tried to interject the idea that he was buying into Bob Barr’s interpretation of the Mueller’s Report and that no pundits, no Democrats and no legal experts had had a chance to look at it yet to see if Barr was puffing for the president. To which he screamed, “It’s not going to make any difference! Trump is destroying our country and they’re all going to let him do it!”

“W.G., we’re on the same side here,” I said in the calmest voice I could muster, “Let’s just let the dust settle and talk again next week and see if things look any different by then.” I didn’t add that I didn’t agree with him about Mueller’s creditably. I didn’t want to argue that or any other point in his rant. He was too upset to reason with, so I just said a few "give it some time" before finally saying "good-bye and hanging up.

Two days later I got home from the grocery store and found this message waiting for me: “I think you’re mad at me. I hope not," my friend said. "Not for voicing my political views. We’ve been friends too long. Give me a call when you get home. I want to know if you’ve started reading the Mueller Report yet.” I called him back but the phone went directly to voice mail and I left a message telling him I wasn’t mad but I was worried about him having a stroke over Trump. “I don’t think you realized how loud you were yelling at me. I’ll be home the rest of the day. Call me.”

I hung up the phone thinking, my God, if the Russian interference in our election’s sole purpose was to cause discord in our nation they sure have been successful. Then I remembered a comment I sent to the spam folder on this blog before I went to the grocery store. It was another one of those comments that claimed Baby Boomers are evil. “White people, black people, Asians, Mexicans, Indians, Chinese, millennials, GenX, GenZ. There is not one single demographic that does not hate you.” Blah, blah, blah. What if the Russian troll farms are behind that kind of disinformation, too? I see those kinds of topic threads on message boards and internet bots could leave comments like that on blogs. Human or computer generated, their whole purpose is to make Baby Boomers feel afraid and distrustful of others. But my first thought upon reading that comment was, Gee whiz, I guess I have the audacity not to be living under a bridge. Now pass me another stack of hundred dollar bills to count. The idea that the Russians are trying to pit us against each other in other areas besides our political leanings cheers me up. Why? Because that’s easier to accept than the idea that raw-hate is wide-spread in America. However, the field of cultural rifts the Russians could use to stir the pot into a frenzy is fertile and we have to be on guard against that.

It would have cheered me up if my friend would have apologized for yelling at me when he returned my call, but he didn't. He wanted to discuss the Mueller Report and he was disappointed, maybe even irritated when I told him I’m not going to read it which may or may not turn out to true. I haven’t decided yet but I have decided to back off from talking politics with him because it’s just not right to let the likes of Donald Trump come between me and one of most loyal friends my husband ever had and me by osmosis. When I had my knee replaced this guy stayed with Don and Levi while I was in the hospital. He literally wiped my husband’s butt, helped him with showers and wheelchair transfers and fixed his meals just so he wouldn’t have to go to a nursing home while I was gone and Levi wouldn’t have to go to a kennel. When others friends fell by the wayside when Don lost his mobility and speech after the stroke, W.G. kept the same, exact pattern of friendship they’d had since high school. The phone calls, the stopping by for coffee, and the meetings for an occasional meal---those things never missed a beat. That’s the kind of friendship that is worth something and it’s the kind of loyalty our president will never know.

Whatever happens or doesn’t happen to Trump in the afterglow of the Mueller Report, I don’t really care as long as he doesn't get re-elected. His daily drama-queen activities is wearing out the nation. But Trump is not the problem as I see it, the people who support him are. What I care about is how are we going to get his followers to value facts, Truth and the rule of law again? How do we get them to value voting candidates into office who are ethical and have good characters, who don't try to divide us and erode the Fourth Estate? How do we educate people to tell the difference between fake stories from troll accounts and well-researched and verifiable reports? I fear our democracy depends on doing those things. ©


32 comments:

  1. I think wearing us all down is part of the purpose for so much of the drama to which we’re being subjected. Really is difficult to understand how people jettison their ethics, moral values, to support someone without any. What has happened to so many people? Are there that many incapable of critical thinking?

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    1. Idon't get that either. I know a few people personally who believe Trump was "sent here" to get Roe vs Wade overturned and they are willing to look the other way on anything else he does. But Profilers can't possibility account for all his supporters.

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  2. Mom refuses to talk politics. It makes her blood pressure skyrocket and we don't NEED that!

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    1. I don't talk politics with most people I know. Just not safe but I'm wondering if that contributes to the disinformation that people hold so close, if it's never challenged. with the truth.

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  3. Trump's brand of fear-mongering and division into us vs. them is not limited to the USA. Europe and even Canada has politicians ringing that bell. It's like the rise of fascism in the '30s all over again. We never learn, it seems. The world is changing, and the middle class is disappearing. The rich are getting richer and the poor more numerous and desperate. People are scared and confused, and ready to follow anyone who says what they want to hear and proposes that they know the way out. I think it was PT Barnum that said there is a sucker born every minute. Sigh...

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    1. You are 100% right on all points but the scary thing is now we have bigger weapons of mass destruction and bigger megaphones to spread disinformation and fear.

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  4. I agree Jean, the fear is that their are people that love that ass Trump. Sorry about that. When I think about Trump I go bonkers and I'm a Canadian. I hope that the Democrats have a person strong enough to defeat Trump, if not 4 more years of hell.
    I experienced the same after my stroke. Many of my so called friends disappeared with my stroke but I had a few of true friends stuck around with me. It's amazing how you suddenly find out about those who really love you. See ya my friend and I hope that the American people will realize how bad their president is. See ya again.

    Cruisin Paul

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    1. After Don's stroke it took me five years to forgive the friends who stopped coming around. He had a couple who Don really missed and didn't understand why they rejected coming over when asked, etc. He felt the same inside however, when someone changes as much as he did and could not longer carry on a lively conversation relationships had to shift. Not everyone is able to make those kinds of transitions and we had to forgive them for that and let go of the grudge it caused for a while.

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  5. I have a sister who is just as passionate a Trump supporter as your friend is against him. I often tease her that her actual diminishing peripheral vision has affected her mental vision. I still love her but we do not talk politics.

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    1. I can see why it's off limits between family. W.G. used to be my 'safe' friend to discuss politics with. LOL By the time we talked again he had settled down but I'm still worried he's too upset for his own good.

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  6. The ghostwriter who authored 45*'s book said that this is how he operates. He simply behaves so objectionably and wears adversaries down, waiting until they cry Uncle, then swoops in and gets his way. He is immoral and doesn't care what he does or how he does it, as long as he gets what he wants in the end. He is truly Machiavellian.

    The true sadness is that the republican party is allowing all this collateral damage in a judicial power grab. They want to remake laws and courts, and once they have, they will dismiss him. Mitch McConnell is just as dangerous as 45* is. And just as immoral.

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    1. Mitch is almost more evil than Trump because he's smarter and knows how he's breaking and bending the rules. Immoral is right.

      The ghost writer nailed it. Sometimes I still can't believe we have a Machiavellian for a president.

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  7. I can relate to your friend's yelling. I don't do that on the outside, but I do on the inside sometimes. It does start to feel like he's going to get away with all of it and that is so incredibly infuriating. I dont blame Mueller though. He investigated and laid out the entire case for impeachment. I blame the Republicans in Congress who are his apologists and syncophants who refuse to do their jobs for our country. Together with him, they are threatening our democracy by making a mockery of our norms, values, and institutions -- and the Constitution. So far I am still convinced we can turn this around by being informed, active in making our views known to our Congresspeople, being involved in campaigns and VOTING. But there are days when the string of shouted expletives in my head drown out any rational thought. Your friend needed to vent his fear and frustration, I guess. And your response was a good one. Calm down; give it a moment to settle and then come at it rationally. That's what my friends tell me too. LOL It helps.

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    1. Agree with you 200%. To me, it's now or never to fight for the soul of our country. I still have hope that the enough Republican Representatives and Senators will find their backbone as more and more stuff comes out that they will have no other choice but to do the right thing for the country.

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  8. Machiavellian. That is the EXACT word I would use for Hillary!

    Buffoon without benevolence. And a Machiavellian.

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    1. We'll have to agree to disagree on Hillary. But you are not alone in your opinion.

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  9. I wonder if your friend has a good support system, especially deeper friendships where he feels free to share his opinions. I have to check myself on the rare occasion that I do express my political opinion. As someone who has always been fairly calm, I do not like how I sound. Too upset. There is so much that is upsetting about current politics and those who elected him and those who continue to support and enable him. I am particularly galled by those who think God sent him to us. Ann

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    1. He doesn't have a good support system and he lives in one stoplight town where he is surrounded with Trump supports. In his last call he said he was going to quit fighting with them down at the Legions Hall where they talk politics a lot. We usually call each other when we want to preach to the choir.

      I don't understand the "God Sent Trump" to save us either. I just don't! Thanks for chiming in, Ann.

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  10. I don't believe Trump is a Machiavellian --- I think he's a narcissist, it's all about him. At the moment he's upset because Twitter says he has fewer followers than he thought he had:
    Trump is mad about the size of his crowd on Twitter, and people, including homeland security, aren't supposed to talk about the threat to the 2020 elections: In Push for 2020 Election Security, Top Official Was Warned: Don’t Tell Trump.

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    1. I heard about that. Twitter purged all the fake accounts from the mid-east which lowered the number of followers on his page and he thinks Twitter is unfair to him. LOL

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  11. You nailed it. It's not Trump. It's the people who support him -- particularly the Congress and his cabinet but also the electorate. I think he's a sociopath and I worry about the election because of those who support him. You handled your friend just right. Oh, and thanks for the blog comment and yes, that is a raised nap on Rick's rug.

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    1. When my friend called back he was back in control, still depressed that Mueller left it up to Congress to draw conclusions.

      Rick's rug is wonderful!

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  12. Great post! I have the same worries, and don't understand how the people who preach morals can back a man without any.

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    1. It's a real mystery, isn't it. I even know people who back him and all I can figure out is that they watch FOX and the president's Tweets for their only news and they really don't know all the immoral stuff he does.

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  13. I continue to be surprised and disappointed by the large percentage (larger than I would have thought) of people in our country who still believe in him. I don't know if he will ever be held accountable for what he's done. I hope SDNY will get him when his term is finished. The thing that's killing us here is the lack of will among congress to hold him accountable: not many profiles in courage there. It's up to the electorate now.
    I love it when you write about politics.

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    1. I keep hearing those in congress are afraid to go up against him. I don't understand what he can do to really harm them individually, give them a nickname in a tweet?

      You like it when I write about politics? It's always a hard decision because, like those congressman I just bashed for not speaking up, I'm afraid of losing part of my followers/supporters when I speak up. LOL

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  14. My comments are not going through...Does not seem to be working for me today
    Leze

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  15. It seems to be when I switch from google to anonymous. Maybe it’s because my iPad knows I have a google account. What was happening was that when I pressed publish, my comment would totally disappear.
    I’m not sure if I remember what I said but I know that I had totally agreed with the commenter Donnajerene and others. My personal feeling is that the republicans are not willing to stand up to him because they are afraid that he will expose all their misdeeds and crimes as well.
    Regards,
    Leze

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    1. You had that problem before, if I remember right. Glad you are persistent and figured it out.

      Donna is a well informed activist and I almost always agree with her.

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  16. How are we going to get people to value facts? That's part of the conundrum. The reasons people are attracted to Trump probably don't have much to do with facts. His chutzpah. His protectionism. His beautiful wife. His beautiful glitzy life. But you know all that.

    Ahhh, everybody sees what we want to see. Show me someone without a comprehension bias.

    Me, I'd love to see the stories in the Mueller report circulate. There's enough in the report for a movie. Capture people's imaginations with some great casting and storytelling!

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    1. People do see what they want to see, that's true but sometimes they do get slapped in the face with a cold bucket of water and change their perspective. I keep hoping that will happen here.

      I don't doubt The Mueller Report will become the basis for a couple of movies, but not for many years.

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