99 New: Friday Round-Up

Our dog is on his last legsThis is the term I hope people use with me when I can’t walk down one stair without studying it for five minutes, when I go out in the yard and immediately plop down on the grass, when I clearly can’t get my bearings (another favorite). “She is on her last legs,” they should say. But you just never know – with dogs or people. That ancient, blind, diabetic dog could wake up from his nearly day-long nap prancing for a treat that he had been dreaming about the whole time.

I am going to a writers conference tonight and tomorrow. Oddly, but apropos to the above, I won 2nd place in the nonfiction category of the Wisconsin Writers Association contest for a story I wrote about, yes, a dog that died. Tomorrow I am supposed to read the story to the collected writers which is fine, I don’t mind reading to people. I actually kind of like it. But the story itself, I realized this morning, is depressing – beginning, middle, and end in different ways. There is no positive, life-affirming conclusion except no one died, except the dog, and no one ended up in jail.

Every woman on the planet knows why Dr. Ford didn’t tell anyone. First, even if people believed her they would almost immediately decide it was not a serious matter. No harm, no foul. You don’t look too hurt to me. Was it really that big a deal? Even at 15, she likely rightly assumed that the people she told would minimize the event and marginalize her. She wasn’t raped and beaten half to death, that’s really what it took then and sometimes I think now to make the case that a serious sexual assault occurred. Second, if she told, she would be blamed. Somehow, some way, the events that occurred would be put on her. She shouldn’t have been there. Worst of all, I bet that at the time, she took the blame and the shame that came with it. If you were looking for evidence of the power of misogyny, it’s this: logic and truth turned upside down.

I love the warrior women of the United States Congress. I don’t care if they’re 500 years old, the women who will not quit, will not sit down, and will not equivocate are my idols. Bless them, bless their staying power, and may their pearls glow in the fucking dark.

Did you know you can start a new jade plant by laying a leaf on dirt and waiting?


I include this valuable tip for my dear friend, Tim, a master gardener and wonderful person whose yard is a festival of flowers and rare things, all green and lush, in the possibility that he is a failure at house plants.

5 Comments on “99 New: Friday Round-Up

  1. I was raped when I was in my 20s and it was literally shrugged off by anyone I tried to tell. “So? You’re okay, right?” Apparently, unless they kill you, it doesn’t count. And they wonder why we don’t both to report it.

    • I can’t imagine the rage that would come with people waving it off but I know it happened/happens a lot. Burden of proof – that it was significant, that it was a CRIME – seems still to be on the woman.

  2. At long last I have been referenced in your amazing blog – a long awaited achievement I dared not ever dream of! So wonderful to be able to share our gardens with you and your husband last evening, however brief the opportunity. Your next visit must include a tour of our home, if for no other reason than for you to assess for yourself my limited ability to keep our houseplants as beautiful as our gardens!!

    And of course I congratulate you on your much deserved recognition and think of our own three wonderful dogs who complete our current pack – and our still mourned for Edgar who used to rule our mansion – whenever you write about your own beloved four-legged family members (despite their rather salty language!)….

  3. Congrats on your writing win! Some important stories that must be told and that touch the heart just aren’t full of sunshine and rainbows. Possibly the positive for yours might be how much the dog was loved?

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