653: Just Do It


In the relationship scenario where partners are “supposed” to be equal, THIS is the guiding motto: Just Do It.

I am not counting the relationships that are based on servitude and power. I am not including relationships where service is bought and paid for, and yes, those relationships certainly do exist. I mean a relationship where two people are attempting to get along and share lives with each other – you know, the relationship most of us would like to think we have, are providing and are contributing towards.

Just Do It. If you see something that needs doing, just do it. Do not see it, and just pass it by, knowing that your partner will take care of it, because they usually do. If you are there, and see that it needs doing, Just Do It.

This includes cleaning the toilet, changing out the empty roll of tissue for a new one, cleaning the tub/shower when the mildew starts growing, sweeping/vacuuming, dusting, washing the dishes, putting the clean dishes away, starting a load of laundry, or folding and putting away a clean, dry load – feeding the dog/cat, or handling other pet needs like a bath, litterbox, walk, or vet visit, cooking a meal, or handling the billion and one needs associated with having children to care for and raise. This is only a starter list, and believe me, when the relationship gets lopsided with one partner handling most of the “maintenance” chores that just come with living? That isn’t a partnership. That is unpaid servitude. And it justifiably incites resentment in the person saddled with the unavoidable tasks of daily living. They ARE unavoidable tasks – that YOU are avoiding.

Just Do It, unmet, can be the reason why there isn’t any sex between you anymore. It is difficult to feel loving towards someone who is shirking daily tasks and leaving work for the other to do. It can explain why your partner is quiet and distant. You aren’t contributing to  shared living when you refuse to contribute to the little chores that come with living. Both of you live in your home. Both of you need to take responsibility for taking care of it, and your belongings within the home. Neither of the two of you should be responsible for all of it – and not even the lion’s share of it.

That’s why it is called sharing. That’s why you are called partners.

It your toes are smarting, good. Step up. Just Do It. Try your new commitment daily for thirty days, so it becomes a habit, and see if your relationship improves. An improved relationship is worth thirty days’ investment of your time and energy, right? If it isn’t, why are you even still there?

Just Do It.

504: Wedding Cake

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I am sorry, but I absolutely do not believe the hoopla surrounding bakeries making wedding cakes, or ANY private business of any sort doing anything they would rather not do. Can we say common sense? I have been voting with my feet over shoddy service at businesses large and small for DECADES now, and have never once required the services of a lawyer to do it.

If you are a business employee, and have religious convictions that interfere with providing services that the company routinely offers – get another job. I should be able to purchase services the company offers, even if you are the employee filling my prescription, or ringing up my pork chops, regardless of your personal convictions as an employee.

If it is your private business, however, that’s different.

Personally, I would bake a cake for a gay person, because I am called to love people. I am not called to love or support their behavior or beliefs. I have baked cakes for Muslims, because I respected them as people. I won’t bake a cake that celebrates ISIS, or Islam, for that matter. Same thing for a same-sex marriage. I don’t support that, either – not that a marriage is in the same category of “belief no-nos” as ISIS is. But for you as a human being: gay, Muslim, black, white, Jewish, special needs, green and purple polka-dotted?? No problem. If you take my cake and serve it during Eid, or at your wedding to your same-sex partner, that is your choice.

This cannot be the most important issue of modern life. In fact, it is my considered opinion that it isn’t an issue at all.

Anyway, are you seriously considering serving a cake to your friends and family that you FORCED someone to bake for you? Are you NUTZ? EEEEUUUWWWWwwwwww………………


410: Moving On

Well – Panama is not going to be the retirement country. I will start filling out applications soon, in the fall, for a new school in another country. Perhaps Nicaragua, perhaps Ecuador, perhaps Bolivia or Brazil – who knows?

And why, some of you may be thinking, are you dissatisfied with Panama, the world’s top-touted haven for retiring Americans? I have discovered that wherever the world is beating a path, is very probably NOT the place that I am wanting to go. That has proven to be the case with Panama. I think the nicest thing I can say about Panamanians is that they have a very relaxed attitude towards customer service – which I would not have believed of a people who had such a close association with Americans for the last 150 years. The Panama idea of customer service is akin to that old joke about the bull servicing the cows – THAT kind of customer service. After a while, you just sort of expect to get screwed – NOT my idea of a good time. An author I am currently reading said that Panamanians have an “immature” work ethic. Fairly accurate, and kindly put.

Plus, all that crap you read about Panama being so cheap – WHERE do these people making these claims come from – freaking California, or New York City? Only those idiots could believe Panama is cheap, and you already know they are stupid for continuing to live in such expensive places to begin with (not to mention the hurricanes and the earthquakes, for crying out loud). Taking their word for inexpensive living is ridiculous to begin with, seeing that they have no basis in reality from the word go.

The only catch, and the ONE thing that might keep me here in Panama for another year, is the actual process of moving again. Moving is not a whole lot of fun and games in any location, and moving country is that whole ugly process, times ten to the nth power. Meh.

Still, that is what being an international worker is all about – seeing and “trying on for size” new places and new cultures. Besides, my Spanish is actually getting a little better. I am sure I sound funny, but I am generally understood – the whole point of communication in the first place. I am far better at Spanish than I EVER was at French (ugh) or Arabic (ditto).

I just need to find homes for two sweet cats – another whole issue.




304: Medina, Queen of the House

Medina and friend

Medina and friend

Medina awoke, and stretched luxuriously beneath the pile of warm covers. She freed her tail, which had somehow gotten tangled in the blankets, and pushed the warm pile of blankets to the foot of the bed. She stretched again, yawning, and then proceeded to give herself a nice, long bath – licking carefully in the proper direction her fur grew, of course. She licked her left front paw and cleaned carefully behind first one ear and then the other. She smoothed her whiskers, and then she was ready for the day. She decided not to wear a jeweled collar for today, and chose instead a plain green leather one – simple and elegant. She picked the chosen collar delicately from the pile, and carried it between her teeth into the kitchen. Her house servant had her milk and banana smoothie just made, and was carefully pouring a saucerful for her to drink for breakfast, as usual.  She dropped the green collar beside the saucer, and her servant obediently buckled it around her neck for her, brushing one hand delightfully down her back a few times, before he left to clean her bathroom. She hated using a dirty bathroom, and her house servant was particular about cleaning it for her each morning while she had her breakfast, so she would not be offended by anything….nasty.

Breakfast finished, Medina briefly cleaned her face, inspected her nails (flawless, of course) and sauntered into the bathroom. She frowned. Her servant had not quite finished cleaning, and she mentioned this tardiness to him as she moved inside and made use of the facilities. Then she went to the sink and glanced back over her shoulder at the man. Obediently, her servant turned the tap and a thin stream of fresh water issued forth – just like Medina liked it. She glanced approvingly at him as he waited for her to complete her drink, to let him know she had noticed and approved of the prompt, and correct, service. Servants were so tiresome, really – it was required to praise them incessantly just so they would perform their basic obligations to her correctly and promptly! Why should all this encouragement be necessary in order to get proper service? They knew their places by now, surely!

Lashing her tail to and fro with the intensity of her thoughts, Medina retired to the living room, furnished with soft couches arranged in front of a fireplace. She noted that the servant had not yet started the morning fire, and sighed with impatience. Really! Good help is just impossible to find nowadays, she thought, and she arranged herself artfully on the couch corner closest to the cold fireplace, as an accusing reminder that her servant had better watch his p’s and q’s. When the infuriating man returned from disposing of the nasty bathroom things, she mentioned the cold fireplace to him, and he obediently went to work setting a nice, warming fire for her, not too large, so she was able to stretch out on the warm hearth and bask in the heat. Honestly, she thought, rolling over to toast the other side, do I have to do EVERYthing? Can’t he remember ANYthing without a reminder? We have been living here together for a full year, and he still needs reminders just to perform his job properly! I simply must reconsider his employment. Even if I do like the man, there is just no excuse for slothfulness. Yes, he does have a mate to take care of, but I am his first responsibility, and he had better know that, and he had better start showing it, she thought. She relaxed in the warmth of the fire and slid into a delicious nap, fur nicely warmed by the glowing coals, only to have her sweet dreams disturbed as the servant lifted the fire screen to deposit more wood into the fireplace. She would have sacked him on the spot if he had not volunteered to stroke her fire-warmed fur for her (without a reminder this time), she thought, as she lazily kneaded the man’s knee while his hands stroked down the length of her back, over and over, hypnotically. She was almost asleep again when he left to finish some other chore.

When she awoke from her nap, her servant was watching TV, so Medina left for a bit of lunch, and thankfully for him, the bowl had just been freshly filled. After lunch, she returned to the bedroom to find the bed nicely made, with the soft fuzzy blanket she liked best on top, as she had requested. It was nice that he remembered some things, she thought, as she tried out the cushy cover. No, she decided, not another nap just yet, I think I’ll take a bit of exercise.

When she inspected her box of exercise equipment, she was disconcerted to find her favorite missing. She glanced up from the search accusingly, and asked the man where her favorite piece was, the green one, you know? And he obediently searched the room, and finally found it where she had left it (she remembered suddenly), after last night’s exercise session, under the couch. She did not, of course, thank him when he presented the thing to her, since that would put ideas into his head (and servants must know their place), but she did accept it gracefully. She took it to the top of the stairs and made a show of dropping it to the floor. Obediently, her servant retrieved it and presented it to her again. She repeated this performance a dozen times or more, until she tired of the exercise, and then she left the equipment where it had fallen and retired for a nap to the bedroom. Just before she drifted off to sleep, she reflected that dinnertime was coming, and it had better not be that old dry diet food again: a girl had to keep her figure, but three times a day of diet was just not ON. As she slipped into slumber, her whiskers twitched as she dreamed of tuna, salmon and steak – which would tonight’s repast be?

She awoke to the pleasing aroma of oven-grilled chicken, and was pleased to know such care had been taken with her dinner. Walking gracefully into the room, she observed that the table had been set for two, and she frowned – where was HER place? Surely the infuriating man did not think she was eating with the two of THEM? And then she spotted her place, removed a discreet distance from the other two. She was satisfied, especially since she knew she would be served first, of course. THEY got the leftovers, as befitted the servants. After dining, and another long, luxurious bath, Medina decided to retire for the night. She found the servants already in the bed, as was proper, warming the cold sheets for her. They moved over, of course, making room for the mistress of the house, who settled in the warm place between them, and everyone drifted off to sleep – another good day.