Monthly Archives: July 2006

Politically incorrect without Bill Moyers

I was raised a Democrat. Or, I should say I am currently being raised, as I am often reminded: 21 is not that damn grown-up, so quit acting like you know everything! And as Democrats, we believe in the potential of people, that everyone’s space and personal feelings should be protected, and that everyone is entitled to do things his or her own way because that’s what the founding fathers wanted, thank you very much. While I very much agree with the founding fathers’ desire for freedom of speech, religion and their desire for equality (although their hairstyles needed a little bit of work) I think, at the risk of sounding not so Democratic, that in our great haste to protect everyone’s everything, we are going overboard. After thinking about this for a few days, and coming up with some concrete examples to boot, I had to wonder: is America becoming too politically correct?

The other day, I was driving downtown on my way to Cherry Creek mall. I know, I work in a mall, but for an admitted shopoholic, all I need is a change of scenery and the fires of shopping blaze anew and my sudden need for a new quasi-business casual shirt with matching capri pants is fiery and all-consuming.

There is an old person home on the corner of 1st and Alameda, or perhaps I should call it “A Campus Community for Seniors” – they do. When asked how old he is, my grandpa always says that he’s not old, he’s just chronologically gifted. In truth, the man is 78, and we all know it, but he’s cute, so it doesn’t matter. Before we go further, I’d like to say that I think we have lost a great deal of respect for the elderly people in our society, and their wisdom and experience have been replaced by MTV and bare-midriffs, which makes me sound like an old person, but I’m cute, so it doesn’t matter. If older people prefer to be called seniors, it’s okay by me. I’m a campus senior, maybe they’ll let me move in! I kill at bridge.

What cracks me up is not the senior community, but the special section of the senior community, “dedicated to the memory impaired.” This, I say, it pushing it. In truth, we all know they are advertising for Alheimer’s patients, and diminishing the dignity of the patient in doing it this way. I feel that being so PC smacks of condescention. In trying to be respectful, they are just being ridiculous. I say, let’s call it what it is. No matter how old someone gets, they deserve the truth about their situation. Besides, if you hurt the feelings of someone who is “memory impaired”, in five minutes they won’t remember anyway.

This is just one example of many in the past few months: I’ve driven by restaurants that advertise really great Hispanic food (I guess with immigration debates raging, Mexico has become a dirty word?) and I’ve seen shampoo for “women of color,” (you can tell because the bottle is brown. Clearly, this is necessary.) and, my personal favorite, the lighting of the “holiday tree” in front of Rockefellar Center in New York City. If you know of any holidays other than Christmas that involve decorating a giant tree, please let me know so that the confusion can stop!

I realize this sounds insensitive, but I think if we cut the crap and everyone is free to express themselves instead of tip-toeing around people who are different, we can finally understand each other and begin the process of learning from all cultures and all ages in America, because like it or not, we all came from immigrants, and they are an important part of our culture too.

I don’t know about you, but I love Mexican food, my grandpa (who is not memory impaired), my black friends don’t need different colored shampoo bottles in order to decide which one to buy, and I think the tradition of the Christmas tree is just as important as the traditions behind the menorah or the seven principles of Kwanzaa or any other relgious celebration, thank you very much. And I’m pretty sure this is how the founding fathers would have wanted it.

But thank God for color-coded shampoo. The founding fathers’ coifs really would have been screwed then.


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Sunset in summer

Sunset in summer
Originally uploaded by hilaryldavis.

I have recently joined Flickr, so this is a trial run! I would ultimately love to have a photo every day, since I did start my blog as a place for photography as well as writing.

Not all of my photography is up yet, and the photos that I really like (ie, the ones I actually think are somewhat good) were all taken in black and white, with high-speed film on a 35 mm Nikon, so it will probably take me awhile to scan and post them anywhere. And anyway, a majority of these are just snapshots of my family and friends.

So, to conclude, I am a much better writer than photographer, but I hope to get better! Feel free to browse through these, and welcome to the visual side of my life, I guess…

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There goes the bride

I love weddings. Most people I know enjoy them, what with eternal love and happiness being the topic for the day, and all. Only the most jaded cynics and bitter single women place bets on how long a marriage is going to last, how bad the D.J. is, or how much they envy the happy couple – of course, this last sentiment of jealousy can only be percieved through the thick veil of sarcasm and comments about how tacky the dress is.

But I really love weddings. I love the tearful vows, the overdone flower arrangements, the sentimental slide-shows assembled by the bridesmaids, if the bride is so lucky – I love it all, the whole, expensive hoopla.

Which is strange, considering that my first experience with a wedding was a terrifying experience.

My favorite aunt got married when I was five. Being the cute, quasi-well-behaved, only girl under ten that I was, I was naturally optioned as the flower girl. Which was fine with me, because I was a cute, quasi-well-behaved, girl under ten who looved to play dress up, when I wasn’t playing in the dirt. Let’s be honest – I’m a nice, well-mannered, sorority girl under 25 who still loves to play dress up – I’d still be a flower girl as long as there was cake involved.

My dress was cream colored, with puffed sleeves (oh the glamour!) and three tiers in back. Each tier had mini ribbon roses, some in peach and some in pale blue. I wore a wreath of flowers in my hair and white mary janes on my feet. I distinctly remember feeling like the bride myself, only without the hassle of being stuck with a boy at the end of the day, which seemed like the best gift of all, especially considering who she was going to be stuck with: a long-haired ex-hippy who worked in catering (sometimes) and who was in a band (all the time).

The wedding was held at the Boettcher Mansion, because Anne Boettcher was (and is) my aunt’s best friend. In the backyard where the wedding was to be held, there was a tiny log cabin playhouse where the ring bearer and my brother spent lots of time with sticks, but being who I am, I was much more enamored with the big house.

I remember the bridal suite specifically. On the day of the wedding, I also remember being told not to leave the bridal suite unaccompanied because it was almost time for photos. Again, being myself, I decided to go out exploring. For a child who fancied herself to be as much Barbie as Indiana Jones this was not unexpected, but still annoying I’m sure.

There were so many bedrooms to see, so many beds to hide under, and so many hallways of polished wood to run down, my dress billowing out behind me, my little heels clicking on the floors. And then, all of a sudden, I had no clue where I was. Since that day, I’ve been told the Boettcher Mansion has 17 bedrooms, several living rooms, and many, many bathrooms. I don’t know about the validity of any of that, but I remember plopping down on some Oriental carpeting, feeling the stiff, prickly fibers poking through my tights, and beginning to cry.

I imagined that they would pick a new flower girl, that my brother would somehow steal my precious job (sibling rivalry rears its ugly head), or worst of all, that I would be left there forever, eventually outgrowing my beautiful frock, a 30 year-old in a rose bedecked mini-dress wandering the halls, my family never noticing I was gone.

Naturally, my wailing reverberated all over the house, and before long a rogue groomsman, the drummer, picked me up yelling, “Dudes, I found the flower maiden girl…whatever.” (My uncle’s band firmly believed that “it was 5:00 somewhere” and the pre-wedding drinking had commenced accordingly.)

After being gently reprimanded by my mother, the wedding went off without further incident. It was only after the reception that I heard shouting, behind a catering van. It was my aunt and soon-to-be ex-uncle, arguing. Over what, I’m not sure, but it scared me. And as my aunt walked away and back into the house, I ran to find my mom. And I felt for the second time that I was happy not to be stuck with a boy at the end of the day.

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Seven minutes of deep introspection

They say that a smoker loses seven minutes of life every time they smoke a cigarette. One cigarette equals seven minutes. For most people, this is probably not a big deterrent. Really, their last seven minutes will probably be just like the seven minutes before it: sitting there, cursing themselves for not listening to their kids when they told them smoking would kill them, trying to drown out the sound of the oxygen tank or the ventilator or whatever. It’s only seven minutes.

What if, though, in your last seven minutes, you were actually doing something you loved? What if you were completely healthy and cigarettes did no damage but subtract time? What if you were painting, making love, or eating a really great sandwich? For the rest of eternity, would you most regret the unfinished work, the kiss you would never feel, the delicious combination of turkey and sprouts that would never be eaten? I am willing to bet that if a person was not sick, they would keenly feel the loss of those last seven minutes, even thinking about their last cigarette and blaming it and it alone for their wasted sandwich.

Of course, many smokers are probably like me and they are A) bad at math, and B) don’t like thinking about all those seven-minute segments, added up, because that would lead them to C) many years they will never get to live. And D) think, well, it is only seven minutes.

What would you do in your last seven minutes?


Filed under Digressions