I slightly sprained my ankle over the weekend. So, stairs and I are not the best of friends this morning. Luckily, the train station near my job has elevators. I generally don’t use them, but today I swoop into the first elevator behind two other women just as the doors close. As we are at the lowest level and each just left the same train, there only one direction to go, up. One woman, on my left, is standing by the call panel, I notice she is holding a paper towel sheet. A common enough sight these days in the world of Covid. The other woman slightly to my right has a cane. The three of us do that I see you, but I’m not looking at you, thing in which all mass transit commuters and in this case, strangers in an elevator excel.

I’m mentally patting myself on the back for my excellent timing for the elevator so a few seconds pass before I realize we are not ascending to the mezzanine level. I look at the call panel and sure enough neither woman has pressed the button. I was about to make a little joke on how elevators might work a little better if at least one of us remembered to push the button, when the woman to my right sucks her teeth, rolls her eyes and reaches in front of the woman to my left to press the call button.  

Okay. Clearly something is going on there that I missed, but my name’s Nat, I’m not in that. Whatever.

There is an odd tense silence as we ascend to the mezzanine level and exit. We make our way to the next elevator that takes us to the street level. In this elevator, the woman who was to the right of me, and I have switched places. Like the previous elevator, there is only one destination to choose, the three of us are going to the street level. It’s an unspoken rule in such situations, if they are nice, the first person to enter an elevator will hold the door open button for others to safely enter before they push the button for the floor. IF they are nice. And that’s when I begin to see the problem.

The woman with the paper towel, having entered first is again closest to the buttons, but for some reason she does not push it. She stares straight ahead clearly expecting the other woman or I to push the call button. You know, the call button that she is standing right in front of.

Now I know why there was teeth sucking and eye rolling as I struggle not to follow suit with a annoyed huff. I remind myself these two women are my elders. If I’m lucky I will annoy some near sixty-year-old person with my own special brand of curmudgeon-dy in another decade or so. Still…

No. No. No. No. No. It is barely 7 in the dang morning! It is MUCH too early for such trifling nonsense. And I haven’t had my coffee yet!

To put in some context, the trains were fast this morning. I am really early for work, so I could easily be 100% that bi-er-that person and wait the two of them out. However, my ankle chose that moment to remind me of its slightly-less-than-optimal existence.

Fine! I’ll be the mature one.

Now you know any situation where I, Raivenne, am forced to be the mature one, is a stupid situation. I start to reach for the button when the woman with the cane clears her throat loudly. You know that throat clearing sound your mama made right behind you when she’s caught you doing something you know have no business doing? It was that sound. It was near Pavlovian the quickness in which I snatched my hand back like a switch took to it.

“Etiquette dictates when walking with a sharp implement you do so with the point towards you, because in case of an accident ‘cause it’s kinder to harm oneself than another. It seems t’me the one with the ability to protect us all from the germs on them nasty ol’ buttons with that trusty lit’l napkin they carryin’ jus’ for that purpose should be like the kind one and press it fo’ us all.”

Aww sookie-sookie now!

I don’t know if Napkin Lady was from the south, but Ms. Cane surely was. Her call out was delivered with all the all sugar and spice and mint julip enough to make Scarlett O’Hara, or at least Julia Sugarbaker, proud.   And me?

Hmm, I never noticed that spot on the wall before! It looks old. Surely facilities had been through here over the long weekend, the floor is cleanHow long has it been there?

Yeah, let me tell you, that wall in front of me was The Most Interesting thing in the cosmos just then. Enough that I embodied the three monkeys because I was not saying a dang thing as I pretended that I did not see as napkin clad knuckle pressed the call button, nor heard the very self-satisfied sniff behind me.

I swear for a moment it felt like I went back in time and I was that small child caught between grown folks arguing about grown folks things and hoping they don’t notice I’m there and then turn on me for listening to grown folks conversation when I can’t go anywhere because I’m not grown and (whoa – whoaaaa – sorry about that – tiny bit of PTSD there – I’m back…).  I did not have to see it to know some serious side-eye between those two happened behind me. I’m just grateful I didn’t hear (in)sincere apologies if a cane accidentally made contact with a foot.

When the elevator doors opened, I got off first and left them to whatever passive-aggressive shenanigans were employed before they went their not-so-merry little ways.

Let’s see how others are slicing it out this Tuesday…

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Still Pissed…

Yes, this is an Akin rant, because I am still pissed….

Is there is a dearth of viable children available for adoption via the usual ways as is, that we have to use legislature to replenish the stock?

The moral majority has the right to have their opinion on who, what, when, where, why and how and for that matter how many we choose to use our vaginas. After all, it is just opinion, and like assholes, almost everyone has one and it has little bearing on how we lead our sexual lives except where we choose to let it. As the kids say “YMMV”, but I personally do not give a fuck.  Actually, that is not true, I do give and receive fucks – not as any wear near as much as I’d like, because I do have standards after all, but I digress…

The moral majority however does not have the right to legislate what we, as a legal adult females of sound minds and bodies, will allow in or out of our vaginas voluntarily (the harm to animals big and small not withstanding – because I know some idiot reading this is going to think it).  They damn sure should not get to lay down the law on all females simply because it goes against the moral/religious stance of some. Attempting to define what is considered “rape” and then what to do with any potential pregnancies that may result from it, by people –the majority of whom are male and one of whom, who apparently did not pay attention in sex-ed and does not know shit about basic reproductive biology- has galled me to no end, especially this week.

Forcible rape. Date rape. Statutory rape. Guess what they all have in common?

They are all still RAPE.

This is punishing the victim on a grand scale. We all know for all the rapes reported, there are so many more that are not. Therefore, the responsibilities any pregnancies resulting from such -for those females who do not have these mysterious magic vaginas that shuts down and blocks insemination when being raped as Akin stated- are solely on the female. I know there are states that will uphold rapists’ rights to fight for custody of their children should they be so inclined (which is whole other level of punishing the victim), but is there a law that mandates all convicted rapists who father children must take full responsibility of them whether they want to or not?-No.  However, whatever spawn is planted in our wombs we may soon be ordered to give birth to whether we want to or not.

If the woman is not crying bloody murder about the event, she asked for it? Tell that to the woman in an abusive relationship that hasn’t found the courage to leave yet.  Maybe the college girl hanging out with someone she thought was a friend and is slipped some GHB in her soda will be okay with it, but I doubt it. Does anyone remember back in the late 80’-early 90’s when women were taught to not fight, but just lay there and take it because they were more likely to live through it? Tell that to the women who heeded such advice. Perhaps the 10-year-old girl taken advantage of by a male family member who was too scared to say “no” that she (and let us be honest her mother also), must keep the lovely memento left behind as a reminder for the rest of their lives?

And really, even if the female (or mother of the female), CHOOSES to keep the child due to her own personal reasons, would she want the father to be in the life of the child?

And just for the sake of devil advocacy – let us take rape out of the picture altogether.

I am a middle-aged peri-menopausal woman who already has two adult children and damn sure does not want any more. How much do you want to wager -should I find out the condom broke- just how ecstatic I will be to learn that I just re-upped for a minimum 9 month, but potentially another 18-24 year gig due to government decree. I love my sons, but I have raised them and they are living their own lives now. Raising children to adulthood is work and my job is done. I have officially entered consulting mode for which there is no chance of being let go from my services and I like it that way. I am not starting over, nor am I putting the child up for someone else.  I am saying it right here in print – if it becomes national law and I would have to give birth to said child – there will be a “vacation” to another country in my immediate future and I guaran-fucking-tee you I will not be the only one.

As I will be out of the childbearing game soon enough, this really isn’t about me any more.  It is for all the other females of this age on whom such legislature will affect.

Most of the ones attempting to control our wombs and lives through such laws were not around, or old enough to really remember life before Roe v. Wade.  To them and to the ones who think I’m blowing it out of proportion and need to let it go, I’m telling you, if we don’t wake up and continue to fight to keep these from becoming laws, we’re all going to be pretending we do not know about the many uses of wire hangers again within a few short years.

This was my Facebook status Monday morning:

Verbal Diarrhea Diaries (regarding the ongoing trend to legislate the female body below the belt): I am a grown ass woman, the only persons who have any “legitimate” say about what is allowed to come out of my vagina are my gynecologist whose job is to check it out and the lucky ones I voluntarily allow in.  All else need to Shut. The. Fuck. Up.

I feel as though I have spent the past few years explaining/defending/exercising my right to control my own vagina so many fucking times, I’ve had it up to here *levels palm just above pubic area*

Or as my girl ‘Monds likes to say ‘Iz ded”.

It’s Thursday and I am still pissed…