Fear of Flying

“She’s touching me.”

“She’s on my side of the seat.”

“Quit fighting.” Our mother vehemently said and glared at my sister and me.

There were a few minutes of silence as we watched our parents fly the airplane and talk about how bad the weather was. We could tell they were tense but it didn’t seem that scary to us and we continued to fight.

“Knock it off you two.” Our mother spoke loudly this time.

“She’s looking at me.” My sister answered.

“Don’t look back.” Our mother replied.

Then the most incredible thing happened. She actually reached back and slapped each of us on the legs. We couldn’t believe it. We looked at each and started laughing. It didn’t hurt at all. She hadn’t ever hit us before this. Her first attempt at corporal punishment had failed miserably.

“You girls need to stop fighting. We are going to have to land the plane because the weather is too bad to keep flying. Please quit. Dave and I are trying to find a place to land.”

We quit fighting. Not because she hit us but because she seemed so genuinely scared.  Our stepfather landed the plane shortly after that at a small airport a few hours away from our home.  This was the last part of our family vacation to Yellowstone Park that hadn’t gone as well as I expect my parents intended it to.

First off I got air sick about an hour into the flight. It was a beautiful day but there were lots of air pockets and it was like being on one of the rides at the fair that always made me sick to my stomach. The small four passengers Cessna 182 bounced up and down almost immediately after we took off. When I got sick into the small bag I had been given it caused my younger sister to get sick as well. We had two more hours to go before we got to the airport at Yellowstone.

Having a plane sounds cool when you tell people that you get to ride in it to go to cool places for trips and vacations but the reality wasn’t all that cool. For an airplane ride to breakfast at a town a couple hours away we had to drive to the airport in the car and then wait while our parents got the plane out of the hangar and get it ready for us kids to get in. About a half an hour to an hour later we took off. That part was cool. Our stepfather would hold the plane on the ground until the very last minute and then take off really fast. I always liked the way all of the houses got really small when we took off. He would frequently fly low in our neighborhood so we could look at how our house which looked like a toy down below us.

Then came the part I didn’t like.  By the time we got to the place we were going to have breakfast at I was usually sick to my stomach as it usually took about 20 to 30 minutes and by the time we landed and walked in to the restaurant at the airport we flew in to I had no desire to eat even though I was hungry. Between the amounts of time it took to get to the airport, then to get the plane out of the hangar and ready to fly and then to fly to the destination and back it took the same amount of time as if we had just driven there. I guess it is obvious what my preference was.

We weren’t rich but my stepfather was self-employed and had caught the flying bug from my mother. She was the first female pilot in the state of Oregon.  She did acrobatics in an open cockpit plane with my father. My father was an airplane engineer who died in a plane crash in a plane he had repaired to factory specifications. Unfortunately they were faulty and when he tried to take off the flaps on the plane went the wrong way and flipped him upside down and crushed him immediately. My mother was watching and she was six months pregnant with my little sister and I was three months short of being born. The schematics from the manufacturer were backwards and they paid my mother $15,000 for the loss of her husband. This was the maximum amount that could be sued for the state we lived in. Melvin Belli was willing to take the case but my mother would have had to move to California and she wasn’t willing to do that. My father’s death is one of the early reasons that airplanes became required to test the flaps and ailerons before they took off from the runway. Disaster is the mother of safety laws.

My stepfather bought the plane he had with two partners, Chad Long, who was a policeman, and Bob Haxby, who had been his flying instructor. I don’t like flying and it has nothing to do with my father dying in an airplane. I get sick to my stomach and I also don’t like the fact that I have no control over what will happen if something goes wrong. I am a good driver and I enjoy driving to places in cars. I feel like I have some degree of control over what happens when I drive. Though I do wholeheartedly believe that driving down the road in a car is when a person exhibits extreme faith. It takes an amazing amount of faith to drive down the road and believe that the other people driving will stay in their lane, because frequently they don’t. It is almost more unlikely to believe that people will stay in their own lane than to believe in God. As far as flying goes I do fly if I have to, like when I went to Spain many years ago. It is the only way to get there.

So, this two hundred thousand dollar airplane, with two partners that they made payments on was not cheap but not as expensive as it sounded like, was my stepfather’s toy. The biggest issue was that he felt guilty for having such an expensive toy, even though he was technically the one who was working and making the payments. He wanted the family to participate in the airplane so he could justify it. So that meant he tried to get us to fly as many places as he could. To any vacation spot, to the twenty acres in Central Oregon that my grandfather bought for us to vacation on which happened to have a small runway a mile away besides the out to breakfast trips.

Then there was the year we flew to Yellowstone and it was by far the most memorable trip we ever took in the airplane. Besides the part where I got sick on the flight there were other issues. Like the rooms we got at the motel, it had horribly uncomfortable beds to sleep on. Our parents traded beds with my sister and I because the bed was sloped to the middle and I ended up choosing to sleep on the floor because of how bad it was. My sister would lay on the side by the wall and push me out of the bed, she was asleep so we had to assume it was subconscious. The air conditioning in the rental car quit working halfway into the first day so we had to drive through the first half of the park without it working in 100 degree weather because it would have taken too long to return it and still see the entire park in the three days we had to do it in. We did get a different car for the other two days.

I do have memories of this trip that were good. It was a beautiful place but the things that were bad still live in my memory forty years later. And I still don’t like to fly.

 

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The Neighbor

My boyfriend Greg lived in a lower middle class neighborhood when I met him. Most of his neighbors were much older than we were and either had retired or were close to retirement age. There was a golf course less than a mile away that had a nice bar, with the not so unique name of “Tavern On The Green”, which served decent food and had live rock and roll on the weekends. It was the early ‘80s and there were a lot of decent young rock and roll bands around. In fact one of the bands that played there called “The Nighthawks” would eventually spawn two groups from its members that would both go on to achieve a decent amount of success. We really enjoyed having a good place to party that was such a quick drive. In fact when push came to shove, or if we got really wasted it was only a 20 minute walk. In the summertime we frequently would walk there. Life was good and we were having fun.

We also really enjoyed using the golf course there as well. Greg, with his buddies and I with my girlfriends. We tried going with each other a couple of times but that didn’t work so well. Women should never have a boyfriend teach them how to golf, men are too competitive. I will never forget the second time we went together with another couple and Greg got so mad at the 9th hole, after he kept hitting his ball out into the field next to the course, that on the third time he did so he threw his club at the hole and bent it. That was when I decided his idea of fun and mine weren’t the same when it came to golfing. After that I went with the girlfriends and wives of his friends who also didn’t understand getting so mad at the golf ball that you would let it ruin your whole day. After all it is supposed to be fun, or at least that’s what we girls thought. We just laughed if we kept hitting the ball so badly that it took up to six shots to get on the green for a par 3 hole. We would let everyone play through that wanted to and drink one of the two beers we put in our golf bags when we left the club house, if you took any more they got warm. With us women it wasn’t a sin to use the wrong club either, something which we had all found out how the men in our lives felt about that. Like I said, we thought playing a game was supposed to be fun. I used to like to golf with the girls on a nice sunny afternoon. Scores were way less important than having a good time. Greg and Larry would spend a whole afternoon sulking in pissed off silence if they had a bad game.

Larry and Debbie only lived a couple of streets over from Greg’s house, we could drive to it in five minutes and walk there in ten and we did both depending on the weather. We used to have dinner at each other’s houses quite often and we would go the bar at the golf course as well and party on the weekends. There was more than one memorable night through the years and some were good and some not so good. Like the time Debbie and Larry got so mad at each other they got in a big fight on the dance floor and we all got kicked out. After we got home neither one of them could remember what they had been fighting about. Debbie had been Greg’s girlfriend about six years earlier and she met Larry when she was dating Greg because they both worked for the same company and attended the same company picnics and parties. When Greg and Debbie broke up Larry asked Greg if it would be alright if he asked her out. Since Greg and Debbie had an amiable break-up he didn’t have a problem with her dating Larry. At least until they got really drunk, but most of the time everything was copasetic.

Greg had only one neighbor who was close in age to him and his friends. I was the baby of our group at 23, Greg was 31 as was Debbie and Larry was 33. The neighbor directly across the street from Greg was 35 and when we had barbecues and other parties we started to invite Bill to participate. We really liked his girlfriend, Jennifer, who was only a couple of years older than me. We really hit it off. As we got to know Bill we found out that he was an ex-alcoholic and didn’t drink. Jennifer did and Bill didn’t mind associating with people who drank, he just said that he couldn’t do it. We all understood we thought, though of the rest of us all drank.

Bill became an asset when it came to going out to bars to dance and drink, since he didn’t drink he could always drive. Greg and Larry had bought a 1968 classic Cadillac to go golfing in, the trunk was a lot bigger than new cars and they could fit four guys in the car and four sets of clubs in the trunk so “the boat” became a popular party car. It was in pristine condition on the outside and because it was a “joint venture” in ownership for the four guys to take golfing, which frequently took them some distance away, they spent the money to make sure it was a reliable “ride”. It was a very comfortable car to sit in for up to six people, it had a lot of acreage, inside and out.

Bill soon started hosting parties for his new friends as well as going to the parties we hosted. He worked for a company that I had been good friends with the president of for several years and several of the friends he had made at work attended these parties. We had a very fun and cool social scene going on. Whenever Greg and I went out of town for any period of time Greg had Bill watch the place and gave him a key to the house. We went to Mexico for two months one winter and Bill watered the plants and kept an eye on the place. When we got back we threw a big welcome home party and invited all of our mutual friends. We noticed that Bill was drinking but he didn’t do anything odd. It got our attention because for the previous three years we hadn’t ever seen him drink anything. When I mentioned it to him he said it had been long enough that he didn’t have a problem with it anymore. He didn’t seem to have any problem with drinking and his girlfriend was alright with it as well.

Greg and Larry got laid off from their jobs not long after this. A mutual friend of theirs had a construction company that was remodeling a motel complex in a small town. It was next to the freeway and about a six hour drive away and he offered to hire them for a month or two. They accepted and so Debbie and I became widows for two weeks at a time. The guys came home for about three days every two weeks. I had an apartment and a roommate that I lived with part of the week and I lived at Greg’s house for the other part of the week. Greg had asked Bill to watch over his house while he was out of town. Even though Greg was gone most of the time I still spent several nights a week there, I enjoyed the privacy of not having anyone around.

One night I was lying in bed reading and I heard someone opening the front door. I got a little freaked out but then I remembered that Greg had asked Bill to watch his house so I hid in the bedroom and waited to see who was letting themselves in. It was Bill and he apologized for not realizing that I was there. I said it was alright and I got up and spent several hours drinking a bottle of wine with him while we watched a stupid movie on TV. He never let himself on the house again while Greg was out of town.

Greg and Larry finished working out of town and started back at their regular jobs. One night soon after that I was at Greg’s and he told me that Bill had called him earlier in the day to tell him he had been arrested and asked him to go over to his house and feed his two dogs and cat. I went with Greg to take care of the animals. I noticed his house was in a state of disarray. There were empty bottles of beer all over the place and girlie magazines spread all over the house, he obviously hadn’t planned on having anyone see it like this. Bill was released from jail the next day. I happened to go over to my roommate and I’s friend Rick’s house the next night. The friend who was the president of the company Bill worked for. Rick’s wife was quite the gossip.

“Did you hear about Bill getting arrested?”

“Yes I did, I went over to his house with Greg last night to feed his pets. Do you know why he was arrested? Greg thought Bill said it was for threatening someone?”

“Yes, it was. He pulled a knife on a gal that works with him and Dana, she works directly under Rick. Supposedly she told Dana that she is pregnant with his child and said she is going to make his life miserable. Dana told Bill all about it and that he was afraid she will ruin his relationship with his fiancée. Bill followed her from work to the store and got in her car and threatened her with a knife if she didn’t leave Dana alone. She started screaming and jumped out of the car and ran. Bill ran away but the cops came and found him hiding behind the store and took him to jail.”

“That’s pretty weird. Why would he do that?”

“I don’t know but the police came to talk to Rick about it today. We found out Bill is a registered sex offender. They wouldn’t tell Rick what he did but if I were you I would stay away from him.”

Trust me I will!”

Erin and I stayed for dinner and then as soon as I got home I called Greg.

“Did you know Bill is a registered sex offender?”

“Who told you that?”

“It was Rick’s wife, Diane. You met her, Rick is Bill’s boss.”

“How did she know Bill is a sex offender?”

“Apparently the police came and talked to Rick about Bill’s threatening the lady they all work with and they told Rick. I don’t want to have anything to do with him.”

“I’d like to hear what Bill has to say. I think you are overreacting.”

“I don’t. I don’t have any tolerance for people who commit sex crimes.”

“I think we should find out the truth first.”

“From Bill? Do you think he would tell you the truth about something like that? Just to make sure I don’t have any more contact with him.”

“Whatever you want, but I still think you are overreacting.”

I went over to Greg’s house the next night.

“I asked Bill about what the police told Rick. Bill said that he used to a serious alcoholic and did some really stupid things but he was never in jail. He said there were minors involved so they had a file on him and he was labeled as a sex offender. He said they harass him whenever they feel like it. I believe him.”

I didn’t think that sounded right but I just let Greg think what he wanted to. I planned on having nothing to do with Bill ever again.

A couple of nights later I was visiting Greg and Bill came over. I didn’t say anything to him. He had just come over to borrow something of Greg’s and didn’t stay long. He seemed to be the same as he always was which made me wonder a little bit about whether he was being falsely accused, but not much.

The time drew near for Bill’s court date and he told Greg that he was sure that he would end up being found guilty and go to jail. He believed that the police were mad that he didn’t do any jail time from the case from ten years before and that they would make sure he did this time. He said they had questioned him over the years any time they could and that they had it in for him. It was starting to sound like a bit of a set up.

The house Larry and Debbie had been living in had been for sale while they had been renting it and it finally sold. They were frantically looking for a place to live. Bill offered to rent them his house. He was sure that he was going to do jail time and he would like it if they would live in his while he was in jail so he didn’t lose it because he wouldn’t be around to make the mortgage payments. He admitted he had been drunk and doing drugs again when he threatened Dana’s girlfriend. He was pissed off that she was trying to ruin his Dana’s life.  The sex had been consensual by both of them so he didn’t think it was fair for her to screw Dana over but he also knew it was none of business. He was upset because Dana was so stressed out that he was talking about suicide.

Bill asked Greg if he could stay at his house while he waited for his trial so he could rent his house to Larry and Debbie. He said even if he didn’t get convicted he would still rather rent them his house and live somewhere else that was cheaper since he no longer had a job. He said all he needed to do was find places for his dogs to live. Greg told Bill it was alright with him. I had been staying away since I didn’t know what to believe about the whole situation.

Larry and Debbie rented Bill’s house and moved in. His trial date was five days away. He moved into Greg’s spare bedroom but I didn’t know this yet. I went over to Greg’s house two days later. Greg was gone to a union meeting but I had left some things at his house that I needed the next day.  I was sitting on the couch when Bill walked in the door and sat down. I knew he was living there so I wasn’t surprised to see him.

“Hi, how are you?”

“Alright, how are you?”

“I’m not very good actually. I’m being framed because of some stupid things I did when I was drinking too much and doing drugs ten years ago. I’m sure I’m going to be sent to jail for doing something even stupider even though I didn’t hurt anyone. The police have been trying to send me to jail for ten years and it looks like they are going to get their wish.”

I was trying to be unbiased. “So you didn’t do anything wrong?”

“I did something wrong, I stupidly threatened Kim for trying to ruin Dana’s life. But that’s all I did and I was drunk and did some coke. It doesn’t really matter what I did. The police have it in their minds that I am guilty and they want me to go to jail.”

He sounded sincere. I began to doubt that Bill was dangerous, pretty stupid, but not a threat.

“Would you go out to dinner with me tonight? I really want to have one last dinner at the Valley River Inn before I go to court. I really love their food.”

I have always tried to trust my inner voice and it told me I had nothing to worry about. I felt Greg was right, “Sure I’ll go out to dinner with you, but I’m driving.”

“Fantastic, I will buy you whatever you want.”

I drove Bill and I to dinner at this very nice and expensive restaurant. We had a very good dinner and a nice time visiting, just like before he was arrested. He told me how freaked out he was about the prospect of going to jail. He asked me to stop in the park on the way back to Greg’s house and I did. We watched the teenage kids ride around on skateboards for a while. Then I took Bill back to Greg’s house and since Greg was still at his meeting I went home.

The next evening Greg, Larry, Debbie and Bill were watching a pay per view boxing match at Larry and Debbie’s house (Bill’s house that they were renting). Part way through the match Bill went over to Greg’s house to get something and a few minutes after he left there was a knock on the door.

“We are looking for Bill Snyder.” There were two policemen standing at the door.

“He just walked across the street.” Larry told them.

“Isn’t this his house?”

“Yes, but he is renting it to me right now.”

“Does that Camaro in the driveway belong to Bill?”

“Yes, but he is across the street at my house right now.” Greg is at the door with Larry.

“Can we go over there to talk to him?”

“Sure, I think he is coming right back. I can go over there and get him for you.” Greg left the house and walked across the street. The policemen followed him. Greg walked up to the front door and turned the door knob. He heard Bill say something.

“Don’t come in.” Bill yells out.

“What do you mean, it’s my house.” Greg said and the police are standing next to him.

The unmistakable sound of a gun being cocked can be heard. The policemen pulled their guns out. Greg yelled at them.

“Let me go in there.” He didn’t wait for an answer he just opened up his front door and walked in. He can see Bill lying on the floor with a gun in his hand and he has it pointed at his head.

“What are you doing?”

“Keep away from me!”

“I will. Don’t pull the trigger.”

“Why not? They want to arrest me and take me to jail.”

“No. They just want to talk to you.”

“No they don’t.”

“Why don’t you go to Serenity Lane, maybe they can help you. That’s where you went before right?”

“Yes. But they don’t care if I go there.” Bill still had the gun pointed at his head.

“Let’s go there and you can talk to them.”

“The police won’t let me go.”

“Yes they will. Let me call Serenity Lane and tell them you need some help.” Greg slowly grabs his phone book and looks up the phone number. “Hi, I have someone who has been through your program and he needs your help again. He has a gun pointed at his head right now. If I bring him down there will you talk to him?”

“Sure, what is his name.”

“Bill Snyder, he was there about ten years ago.”

“Alright, we will be expecting him.”

“Okay Bill, let’s go down there. I’m going to out and tell the police what we are going to do.”

Bill got off the floor and followed Greg to the garage and got in the car’s passenger seat, all the while holding the gun to his head. Greg opened the garage door and drove the ten minute drive to the alcohol recovery center and the while Bill held the gun to his head. When Greg drove in the parking lot he could see a SWAT team taking positions around the building. He looked at Bill to see if he had noticed. He didn’t seem to.  Greg pulled into a parking spot and turned the motor off.

He realized the police were probably going to shoot Bill before he got in the building so he tried to grab the gun out of Bill’s hand. Boom. One shot went through the floor of the car. Boom. Another shot went through the roof of the car. Bill yanked his hand free from Greg and pointed it at his temple again.

Greg realized he was not going to be able to overpower Bill so he got out of the car and walked towards where he saw a SWAT team member standing. As soon as he gets there he was grabbed and handcuffed to a pole. They weren’t going to let him risk his life again.

A SWAT team member walked over to where Bill had sat down on the curb next to the car, still holding the gun to his head. The guy started talking to Bill. He seemed to have the situation under control, and Bill lowered the gun and the guy slowly walked up to him. Just when he was almost close enough to touch him Bill put the gun up to his head and shot it. The standoff is over. Bill is dead.

The police told us the reason they came to the house was because the previous night a hooker had been abducted by a man in a 1969 Blue Camaro with a fuzzy dash board and she was raped and tied up to a tree with duct tape. Bill’s car, the one parked in his driveway, was a 1969 blue Camaro with a fur on the dash. They were coming to arrest him and he obviously knew it.

The next day I took Bill’s things out of the spare bedroom at Greg’s house and I found a handwritten piece of paper under the mattress. On it was written “dogs, duct tape, lye, rope, plastic”. I got a very sick feeling in my stomach. We never saw the dogs after Bill said he found them new homes. I felt very lucky to be alive and unharmed. I would never second guess my first instincts again.

THE RICH ARE STILL RICH AND THE POOR ARE MORE!

There is a local paper that publishes a semi-annual restaurant guide and I was looking through the one they published last month online yesterday and was saddened to see how many of my old friends have died due to this bad economy that we are still stuck in. It made me sad to know that I will never sit on the patio of one of my favorite restaurants down town and eat marvelous food and people watch, or that the only time I will have my favorite dinner in town will be when I recreate it myself at home. I am very glad that I have the ability to eat a meal and taste the ingredients so that I can make it at home, but the main reason I liked to do that is I don’t get out to eat as often as I like to eat some of the dishes that my favorite restaurants make, not to replace my favorite restaurants but at least by my ability to eat and cook a dish I haven’t lost the dishes forever but it isn’t the same ambiance when I eat it at home even if it does taste the same. The bad economy has caused some good changes in a nation with greedy tastes but unfortunately the real losers are the middle and lower class citizens because the really rich people seem to still be really rich and the poor are more plentiful than ever, how sad that a country like ours has such disproportionate wealth, and how sad for all of the small businesses that have gone under.

Who Is normal? Me or them? Or No One?

When I was younger, I am now 56, I had a couple of friends that seemed to have strange habits. Like the friend who compulsively had to schedule every single thing that he did, there was almost no way he could spontaneously go out to dinner if I called him. I, on the other hand always scheduled things that were important that I knew about in advance but if someone were to call me up and ask me to do something on the spur of the moment I would always do it unless I had something else I had to do. As I have gotten older I find I have less “free” time and more things I have to consider before doing something but if all those bases are covered I still can say “yes I will meet you for lunch”. I now find that some of my friends, that used to think the same friends were weird that I did, are now developing strange quirks and I am wondering why. Am I the weird one because I don’t compulsively have to close the refrigerator after 2 seconds because it might use a pennies worth of electricity or is the friend who now does who used to buy the most expensive stereo on the market without price shopping? I feel like anyone who can’t explain why they emphatically do something to have an obsessive compulsive disorder and I wonder how it happened to people who never used to be that way. I remember noticing that some older people were a bit eccentric when I was a teenager but the people I am now seeing these eccentric qualities in are under 60, which I don’t think is old but maybe the people I thought were old when I was a teenager weren’t as old as I thought they were. Just wondering!

Growing up different!

I am mad as hell. I have the most common inherited neuropathic disease there is and no one has ever heard of it and it is called Charcot Marie Tooth. Isn’t there something wrong with that? One in 2,500 american s have this disease and I bet you have never heard of it have you? Apparently no one famous has this disease or if they do they haven’t told anyone that they have it. Which is actually very common with people who have this disease, we can almost pass for normal (if you don’t go hiking or do something that requires physical dexterity) if someone isn’t real observant or doesn’t ask personal questions. The reason we don’t talk about our disease a lot goes to the horrible problem that we all have to deal with, that problem is that being different is not a good thing! We are taught this from the time we are children in grade school and we got made fun of because of our physical weakness. I was always the slowest person around the track, I couldn’t pull my weight up with my hands on the monkey bars but because when you looked at me I didn’t look that different no one understood what was going on and trust me, neither did I. The problem with this disease is that you are not just different, life if you are gay you are different but you are not disabled. The cruel truth of Charcot Marie Tooth is that you can look the same as everyone else but you are crippled physically and kids will make fun of you no matter what the reason is that you are “different”. I spent my whole childhood trying to do as many things as the rest of the kids could do physically. The only salvation I had was that I was smart so at least I could excel in that area and I became  book worm because it was my world to escape to. I do believe that growing up different is bad for everyone who feels they are different, no matter how big or how small the difference is, it is apparent to me that if you feel different you are different but there is a reality that having a physical handicap by all rights should be a worse problem to deal with that thinking you look weird or different than someone else. I do believe from watching what happens with screwed up people that they seem to have as many problems as people who can barely walk but I have a lot of trouble understanding it. I would give anything to be able to walk up stairs without pulling myself up one stair at a time and then I read about someone who can’t deal with not being beautiful. I would give all of my looks for the ability to physically function. Maybe all disabilities are the same in that they are disabling but I would give every thing I have to be ugly and be able to walk. I have a lot of trouble understanding how someone can be so screwed up over some of things they are when the rest of us are just struggling to put one foot in front of the other one, literally! If I am missing something please enlighten me as I spend my whole day trying to physically get to the store and buy my own groceries so I can live. Since I have been disabled from the age of 3 to 56 I am getting tired of the struggle, but getting tired does not mean I will give up. But those of you who have a choice please appreciate what you have that so many of us would give anything to experience. Growing different is very painful no matter what the reason but if you are not disabled I think you should learn to appreciated the beauty of having a body that works and get over the things that made you different while you were growing up if you grow up to have an able body. I would give anything to have your able body and I don’t think you would give anything to have my crippled one! People need to learn to get over the small things that kids tease you about, because once you grow up you should be able to leave those kids behind, and parents should spend a lot more time teaching kids not to be cruel. A lot of children’s problems could be helped immensely if parents really addressed the issue of their children making fun of other children. Being different as a child should not be a life sentence!

Broken But Not Broke!

I had a boyfriend tell me that he was always amazed at how many people tell me about very personal, and frequently very horrible, things that have happened to them. I believe it is because people can sense that they can tell me these things in confidence and I will talk to them and help them without judging them. I know that I am able to talk with people who have had traumatic things happen to them because I have had those things happen to me and I am comfortable talking about those things because I have come to know that I did nothing to deserve the bad things that were done to me and that the only way to deal with them is openly accept that they happened and discuss them so that some good can come from the bad. The good is being to heal yourself and to help others to heal themselves and realize there is no shame in having bad things inflicted on you that you were helpless to prevent. Because so many people tell me very private thoughts before they know I have gone through similar experiences I believe I must somehow project an open helpful aura. It makes me happy to help someone through a bad experience and to be able to deal with it and not be afraid of their feelings or afraid of other people’s feelings about what they have experienced. It makes me feel better about the things that have happened to me by knowing that by having experienced them I can talk about them and help other people.

Real Life Is Stranger Than Fiction!

LOVE ON THE MONEY

This is a true story and the only the names have been changed to protect the guilty.

Twenty three years ago my sister was in an unhappy marriage and the only way she knew how to get out of a bad relationship was to go directly into another one and unfortunately the one she went into at that time turned out to be far worse than the one she was getting out of, but she would only find that out in time. Annie started out by answering an advertisement in the newspaper to do telephone sales. The company she went to work for sold travel “coupon books”, somewhat like the ones they used to sell with discounts for meals at restaurants, for $750.00 for each coupon book, and if you travel a lot there were good values in these legitimate coupons that local airline and travel agencies sponsored. My sister is a very good flirt and she immediately did well at telemarketing. The owners of the company were a local college basketball celebrity and a man who had met him through his sister and he was a very good “talker” and became partners with the basketball hero. My sister initially had only taken the job as an outlet to be away from her controlling husband who made her life miserable, and it was no way entirely her husband’s fault, because if she had more self-confidence (to know about this you will need to read the stories I have written about our terribly dysfunctional family) she would have just told the man to f**k off and stood fast on that concept. He wasn’t a physically abusive man, or even a verbally abusive man, but because of having a childhood that rendered my sister unable to deal with any kind of personal criticism and her entire opinion of her self-worth was built on her physical attributes and in no way did she feel she had anything else to offer, she wasn’t able to deal with any adversity in a healthy manner and all she ever felt she had to offer was her attractiveness, great ability to flirt and willingness to have sex with a lot of men she had no interest in other than to make herself feel desirable. This has been a great tragedy of her life up until I can happily report that 23 years after her getting involved with this illegal scheme, that resulted in “First Interstate Bank” being duped out of $750,000.00 by the ex-basketball star and the “white collar” con man, she has married a man who is in love with her for the “right reasons” and she is also in love with him for the right reasons as well, and the “fortunate” part of the telemarketing scheme she became involved with was the 23 year old son that was one of the combination “best men / bridesmaids” at her wedding this year on Halloween.

This is just a small part of this true story which involves the Mafia and the Federal Witness Protection Program. There will be more installments on this story!

There is an interesting development in this story I am writing.  I just scanned the 5 news stories about the white collar robbery of the bank (the articles you  would be hard pressed to find anyone admitting that they ever existed) and started doing research using “google” into what happened to famous ex basketball star and the company he ran that he along with the ex criminal he “narked” on to avoid going to jail, and much to my surprise I found that he is still using the original name of that company and still running it as a travel business.  This could get very interesting when I inform him I am writing a book about the true story of the crime he helped commit.  More will be coming, need to dot my i’s and cross my t’s now that I see how blatantly he thinks he got away with what my sister and I know he fully participated in.  “Very Interesting” as the guy from “Laugh In” used to say!