Thy Will Be Done

From the first reading of Mass yesterday: “As for foreigners who adhere to Yahweh to serve him, to love Yahweh’s name and become his servants… [T]hese I shall lead to my holy mountain and make them joyful in my house of prayer… for my house will be called a house of prayer for all peoples.” Isaiah 56:1, 6-7

From the second reading: “God has imprisoned all human beings in their own disobedience only to show mercy to them all.”

And in the Gospel, Jesus heals the daughter of a foreign woman who is not Jewish. I actually found this reading to be a rather harsh depiction of Jesus. “It is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to little dogs,” Jesus says, when the woman persists. “Yes, Lord,” the woman answers. “But even dogs eat the scraps that fall from their masters’ tables.”

I wonder if how many white supremacists call themselves Christian, and if they were in a church yesterday. Did they hear the words? Did they understand them?

++

Some say that T*ump is part of God’s plan – I don’t know why they didn’t believe that about Obama, but I’ve very little doubt that some of those who trumpet this current administration believed that Obama was a secret Muslim.

And here’s a thought I had in Mass yesterday. What if T*ump is part of God’s plan, but not in the way that Falwell Jr. and the evangelicals would have it. Maybe T*ump was elected not to save America, but to reveal it, and God “let” it happen (insofar as God directs things here on Earth; the Big Guy [or Gal] did give us free will) so that we would see the worst of human kind, not the best.

Maybe God said, “All right. They’re going to go ahead and put this fool in the White House, and even though he’s hardly done service to me – except lip service, am I right? – we’ll just let this go. I work in mysterious ways, after all.”

Instead of the example of Jesus, who humbled himself even unto death, we bear witness to the vainglorious antics of T*ump and Bannon, whose narcissism knows no bounds. Instead of the welcoming and generous mien of Jesus, we watch as petty men enrich and empower themselves and their families, with no thoughts for the ones they harm.

Instead of a moral leader who can point out the wrongs in this world, and vow to do better to make things right, we have a weak man who thinks the wrong extends in every direction, and he’s the only one who is brave enough to say it. T*ump will admit no wrong or weakness. Jesus knelt at this apostles’ feet to wash them. He sent his believers into the world to be servants, not to be kings.

++

And even if we are willing to buy into this idea, that God does have a plan to profit us (and I don’t mean make us rich with material things), it doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t speak out and speak up when we see the wrongs in the world, and the feckless, faithless people in power won’t do it. I pray every day that T*ump and his minions fall from power. I use my voice to decry injustice and hate, and I will keep doing that. And, more importantly, I will amplify the voices who know better than I do, and I will listen to those who know better than I.

White Like Me (Part I)

I am not the most “woke” person on the planet, and I’m not here to persuade you of any of my bona fides.

What I am here to do is to start a conversation – overdue, to be sure – about race. I’m going to tell you where I come from. Because I am having these conversations with my children. Because these conversations have to be had.

We can’t NOT talk about race.

My father’s parents were Irish immigrants, and my father grew up in a lower-income neighborhood in Pittsburgh. My mother’s parents were first generation Italian-Americans, and they lived in the Italian neighborhood in Erie, Pennsylvania.

I grew up in Erie, the oldest child of two college-educated white people. My parents never talked about race, but they hardly had to. Erie was strikingly white and Catholic in the 1970s and ‘80s – probably still is for that matter. I grew up in a white neighborhood; my K-8 school was white and Catholic; my parents’ friends were white and non-immigrants, and they had children who looked just like me. All my friends were white.

I, obviously, was aware that people of color existed – I watched Sesame Street and The Electric Company growing up. But until high school, I barely interacted with people of color. Not that I didn’t want to, or felt I shouldn’t. It simply didn’t happen.

It’s safe to say that my parents weren’t (aren’t) racist. We didn’t use racist language, they didn’t draw bright lines between “our kind of people” and any other kinds of people. My parents’ parents may have been racist, but I never heard the n-word growing up. My mom’s father was prejudiced against, to use his words, Krauts and Jews, which I always found confusing.

My pap-pap died when I was 6, and I’ve no idea on his views on race. He was, however, an Irish beat cop in Pittsburgh, so they probably weren’t super enlightened. Although my father has said that his father never used the n-word, and when my father asked about it as a child, he told my father, “We don’t use that word.”

I remember my Italian grandmother occasionally talking about ‘colored’ people, and I used to tease her. “What color were they, Grandma?” So, yes, probably some racism there. But hardly malevolent, white-supremacist-flavored racism.

Fast-forward to high school, and finally, I was going to school and seeing non-white and non-Christian people on a daily basis – not many, but some. I went to a small, Catholic all-girls school.

When I tweeted about this the other day, I said, “I didn’t witness any overt racist acts”, but I’m not sure that’s true upon further reflection. We had one Indian girl who was definitely targeted for some harassment, for example, being asked if she was in an arranged marriage. I didn’t do that; she was someone I would’ve counted as a friend. I bet if I asked Robbie, one of the black girls in my class, she would have a story or two to tell.

I never remarked on this limited diversity in my high school at home. We didn’t talk about race. Again, I think it was more the default position of not *needing* to talk about it, about having enough privilege that racism was something that happened in the ‘60s. Everything was cool in Erie! Everything was cool because of civil rights!

Clearly, since the time of Barack Obama’s running for president, then becoming President, since the shooting of Trayvon Martin, since the (continued and now publicized) murder of black boys and men by white cops, since Black Lives Matter and the Safety Pin Box, it has been made abundantly clear that we hardly live in a post-racial society. If the election of T*ump and the events of Charlottesville are any indication, we may be moving backwards.

I talk about race with my children. They go to school with, play sports with, and live near more black and brown children than I ever did. We talk about shootings (in age appropriate ways). We talk about Charlottesville and white supremacy.

I don’t say we are “colorblind.” I tell my children to see and to be aware of differences in their peers and in the wider world, whether that’s skin color, or sexuality, or religion, or disabilities. Differences matter, although they do not make anyone superior to anyone else. Differences matter, because they mean individuals have different experiences and views.

We have to understand and recognize difference. Knowing in our hearts that everyone SHOULD be treated the same doesn’t mean everyone WILL be treated the same. And we have to recognize when differences lead to injustice, and how, and what to do about it.

*with apologies to the book of essays by Tim Wise, White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son – which I promptly bought and will be reading post haste. Buy it here.

Stupid Is As Stupid Does

“What is white supremacy?” Flora asked.

Before I could formulate my answer, she added, “It sounds totally stupid.”

It made me laugh.

“You’re right,” I said. “It is totally stupid.”

It’s stupid to think that you are better than someone based on the color of your skin.
It’s stupid to think that other people getting rights to things like job parity, education, and healthcare means your rights are being taken away.
It’s stupid to chant Nazi slogans while carrying a tiki torch.
And it’s stupid to fight to preserve a history of which American should be embarrassed.

It’s stupid to think that we need to preserve “white culture.” It’s a fucking joke.

We stole this country, and built it on the backs of black slave labor. We can be clear-eyed about that, and work to fix the mistakes of the past. (Don’t tell me ‘your grandparents were immigrants who were treated just as badly as slaves.’ They weren’t; stop telling yourself that lie. And don’t come at me with “violence on both sides.” A man killed a woman WITH HIS CAR.)

And the President of the United States endorses and condones this shit.

++

Kate, my performer, Kate, my orator, on white supremacy:

“Trees change the colors of their leaves. Do we judge the trees? No, we do not…. Apples come in different colors. Do we judge apples on the colors on the outside? No, we judge apples by their taste. We don’t judge people by their skins; we judge them by what’s inside.”

++

Michael has been watching Holes. (It’s an excellent book as well as an excellent movie.) He loves it.

One of the plot points involves a black man, Sam, and a white woman, Kate, played by Dule Hill and Patricia Arquette. **SPOILER ALERT** Sam and Kate are falling in love, and the white townspeople (the story is in a flashback) don’t like it. When Kate is spotted kissing Sam, her schoolhouse is burned down, and Sam is murdered.

When Michael wanted to watch it yet again, I decided to say something.

“Do you know why Sam is killed in the movie?”
“I think so.”
“Why?”
“Because that other man likes Kate, but she likes Sam.” (Accurate.)
“It’s also because Sam is black. Black people and white people weren’t supposed to be together, or get married.”
“That’s dumb.”

MY CHILDREN GET THIS. It’s not hard.

*sigh* I’m tired. What a luxury.

Credit for the featured image: @AndeStrega

A Completely Unsolicited Review of The Dark Tower Movie

“The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.”

It is one of the best opening lines in a novel, in my opinion.

Stephen King screen adaptations vary from wildly terrible, nearly unwatchable dreck, to classic very watchable horror (think Carrie and The Shining) to inspirational (think The Green Mile and Shawshank Redemption, one of the best movies in the history of film, full stop). Vulture did a fun list ranking every one, which is a pretty entertaining read. I disagree with their number one choice, but not by much.

I also did not realize there were thirty-eight King adaptations out there.

Despite the “controversy”, I wanted to see The Dark Tower, mostly because I was curious of the “how” of it. How were they going to tell the story? Was it going to unbearably long? Was it going to be the first in a series of movies based on the novels? How were they going to deal with the one aspect of the story that didn’t work with a black actor playing Roland?

Short version: The Dark Tower actually pretty good, so don’t believe the naysayers. If you want to go see it, go see it. It’s entertaining, the story is solid, the acting is great, and Idris Elba.

Longer version:

I was skeptical about a movie adaptation of The Dark Tower Series. I mean, sure, they did it with Harry Potter, but – with apologies to my favorite author – The Dark Tower is not Harry Potter.

The Dark Tower movie, fortunately, is not an adaptation of The Dark Tower books, except in the absolute broadest sense. See that opening line. There was a gunslinger, Roland Deschain, the last gunslinger; there was a man in black (played to great effect by Matthew McConaughey); there was the boy Jake.

The Dark Tower movie pulls from many elements of the books, to be sure, again, the broadest plot points and themes. A tower stands at the center of all the universes; the man in black is trying to destroy it, and let in the darkness beyond all the universes. The man in black is aided in his task by low men (and women) who go out into the worlds, capture special children, and use their psychic powers – their “shine” in the parlance of the King multiverses – to break the Beam.

I will admit that the movie probably makes much more sense if you have read all the books. The screen adaptation more or less takes place after the last book in the series, which is one of the reasons that they could cast Idris Elba. Since Roland’s life resets after Book 7, he could literally be any race. This is a new timeline, and who knows if Eddie and Susannah are going to make an appearance in this version of Roland’s life. Who knows if they will even make another film? (I’m in if they do.)

Elba is fantastic as Roland. Dispassionate, bent on one thing (and it ain’t saving the Tower), indifferent to his well-being, and pretty much willing to kill everyone and anyone who gets in his way. McConaughey must take great delight in playing the man in black, Walter. He swaggers with a palpable air of evil through every scene. Jake Chambers is played by Tom Taylor, who captures the character’s vulnerability and grit to a tee.

The movie makes several nods to its source material, but because it is not trying to be everything in the books, it works. The story stands on its own. Elba and Taylor have good on-screen chemistry. If I have any criticism, it’s that the end is a little too neat, a little too easy. But it gave the film closure and it enables it to stand on its own.

I would recommend The Dark Tower to King fans who liked the books. I think it does a good job of adapting the material available while not trying to be all things to all people.

If there are other movies, I hope Elba gets a shirtless scene. I’m just saying.

What’s your favorite King movie? What’s your favorite King book?

Copyright for featured image: supergranto / 123RF Stock Photo

Introverted to a Fault?

Before I get to the meat of this post, I need to tell you a little bit about myself as a child.

I have been an introvert my entire life. I am comfortable spending time by myself – I *need* to spend time by myself – and I often explain this predilection by saying, “Being alone is different than being lonely.”

When I was a child, not only was I naturally introverted, but I was shy. Not socially anxious (I don’t think), but just shy. I tended to be quieter than other children; I was uncomfortable interacting with strangers or anyone I didn’t know well; and I did not have cadres of friends.

My preferred activity was reading.

Recently, the Atlantic published an article titled, rather alarmingly, “Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?” It posits that the generation after the Millennials – called by this author “iGen” for “iPhone generation” – is more depressed, and while it doesn’t explicitly blame smartphones, it notes the correlation between lots of teens having smartphones and the spike in rates of depression and anxiety in teens.

So, go, read it, think about it, see what you think.

Obviously, I am dealing with this right now to a certain extent, with tablets and the children, rather than phones, but same idea. And sooner or later, they will need phones; I reluctantly realize that.

Here’s my two-fold solution: 1. Talk to my children. 2. Limit the use of screens.

Flora and Kate have social accounts, although not on the major sites yet (Snap, Twitter, Facebook). They are able to video chat and text with friends. Kate is more outwardly social than Flora; she has a couple of friends in the neighborhood; and she asks about seeing her friends more often.

Flora is a very solitary girl. She reminds me a lot of me when I was her age. Although she participates in family activities, has friends, and plays soccer, the majority of her time is spent at home, usually in her room drawing. That’s what she likes to do.

Flora is a cheerful girl, although when she gets upset, her reaction is anger. She has a tendency to apologize too much, in my opinion, and it is something that we talk about. She has brought difficulties to us without hesitation (so far). She is thoughtful, sensitive, smart, and easily distracted. She has opinions that she isn’t afraid to share.

I check in with her often, in little ways. I ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS listen to her. (I need to strengthen this skill with my other two children.) And when they do start participating in social media more, we will talk about their feelings, and how social media shows a carefully constructed reality – and how to manage around that.

I also check in with Flora from time to time about her posts on the social sites she is on. Flora belongs to a couple of different fan art sites, and people can “like” things and comment. I often ask her about her participation on those sites – and not just by saying, “Is everything cool on those sites?” I ask her to show me her stuff, and comments, and so on.

Limiting time on screens has gotten away from me again because I’m lazy about it – I ain’t going to lie. I am going to solve it in the laziest manner possible as well: We are investing in a Circle device, and the children’s tablets will be shutting off at 10 p.m. They go to bed at 8:30-9 p.m., so an hour or hour and a half is plenty of time to fall asleep. (I have advised the children that this is happening.) The biggest reason this needs to be managed is so they sleep at night. Flora is especially terrible about her sleep habits. (She comes by it honestly; I am a little better than Dan only by the virtue of the fact that I am a monster if I am not getting enough rest, and I totally recognize that.)

Do I think smartphones, or Facebook, or screens are destroying a generation? I do not. This is the familiar hand-wringing that all older generations do about the ones coming up behind them. Does that mean I should ignore my children’s interactions with smartphones and social media? No, of course not. But, like most parents, I am not in the habit of ignoring stuff in which my children are interested or participate.

Do you think smartphones are destroying a generation?

How My Journalism Degree Supports My Marketing Career

I posted this on LinkedIn, and I’m proud of the writing, so I’m posting it here, too.

I’m sure degrees in content management and digital marketing exist. However, way back in 1992 when I graduated from college, the internet was barely a thing.

My BA is in *print* journalism, and while that may sound quaint in this digital age, journalism is the foundation on which I’ve built my current career track.

Journalism taught me how to write short, relevant copy, backed up with supporting facts, and delivered with clean text (with one space after a period!). It taught me that proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation are all important, and that fact-checking is not optional.

1. Style

My journalism professor Clark Edwards, God rest his soul, taught an entire semester-long class on the AP Stylebook. I had had a good grasp of grammar and punctuation rules upon entering college; English was my favorite subject in high school, and I already knew I wanted to be a writer. But AP style addressed the very specific needs of the newspaper publishing industry, answering questions about spelling, punctuation, and capitalization, as well as issues regarding libel and media law.

The AP Stylebook is published each year with updates and clarifications. Above all, AP style strives for consistency, clarity, and professionalism. With the exception of the Oxford comma (in which I default to the Chicago Manual of Style), the AP Stylebook is my source for writing standards.

2. Research

Any good news story starts with the right question(s), and then uses supporting facts to answer the questions. It’s important to know how to find the right answers. Journalism taught me about how to decide if a source is reliable, and how to report on facts. Digital marketing, like journalistic reporting, is less about selling or sensationalism. It’s about being a trusted source for information – and telling good stories.

3. Make it interesting

Blog posts are meant to be short and informative. The most important information goes into the first paragraph. Especially now, the way people take in information online, the lede has to immediately prove to be relevant. News writing taught me the reverse pyramid structure: Put the most relevant information (who, why, where, what, how) in the opening paragraph. The following paragraphs should contain important details to support the lede. Ideally, a blog post will be short and to the point, using subheads and numbered or bulleted lists instead of blocks of text, but the delivery structure is the same.

4. Meeting deadlines

Most of the deadlines in digital marketing are self-imposed. We have a social media and blog posting schedule that we have created as a department. But even a self-imposed deadline is a deadline, and as someone who has worked on actual print newspapers, I find deadlines compelling and helpful.

Digital Is Different

All that being said, digital marketing does expand on the basics of journalism and good writing in different ways than contributing to a news site would. The biggest challenge for me as a marketer who uses social media is making the goal to write for people, not for bots. Yes, SEO is important in digital marketing. But if you fill your article with lots of keywords to show up on Google, and make the headline read like clickbait, you aren’t doing your readers a service. [My work blog] isn’t purely meant as a sales tool. It’s about bringing news to our customers, and making them aware that we know and care about the issues that affect them.

Waiting IS the Hardest Part

Writing a book isn’t easy.

It takes a lot of time, and a big commitment to putting in that time. Spending an hour or two a night in front of a computer, trying to get my characters on paper — after spending eight hours at work, and taking care of my family in those other daytime hours — that was HUGE.

But once I did commit, and I had support from my husband and family, I did it. I sat down daily and got the words on the page. Except for Thanksgiving vacation, I mostly wrote at night, sometimes starting as late as 9 p.m.

Part of my 2015 NaNoWriMo experience was spent in Wilmington, NC, for Thanksgiving vacation with my family. My sister had just had a baby, so we were there for that. It was Thanksgiving, so we were there for that. My parents, my brother and his wife and children, my sister and her family, who live in the area, Dan and our children.

And every day — including THANKSGIVING DAY — this group of people LET ME WRITE. I mostly wrote in the mornings that week, with a cup of coffee or two.

That November, I wrote 50,000 words. In the next three months, I added roughly another 20,000.

Then I put the book (working title: Lone Wolf) away for a few months.

The rest I have mentioned here: second draft, line edits, beta readers. Both my beta readers had helpful feedback AND were very kind, so much thanks to them (Cari and Trista). Third draft.

And now it’s the hardest part: querying and waiting.

So: thing I learned about publishing last year at my very first writers conference: an agent, if you do not plan on self-publishing, is a necessary step. An agent is the one who is going to take your book and help you do the final shaping for publication. One does not send to publishers, one queries agents.

One needs a query letter to do that — I have learned a lot about queries, synopses, and pitching in general.

Yeah, I didn’t know that stuff before I wrote a book. It’s actually good I didn’t know too much about the process, because I would have overthought it.

Of course, as I go forward, I have to work very hard not to overthink it.

At this time, I have a handful of (very nice, very polite, and VERY encouraging) rejections under my belt. Rejections are good, it has been pointed out to me; it means I’m doing something. And, they have, to an email, been encouraging, as I said. The gist being: Thank you for querying; this isn’t for us at this time; keep going because someone is going to love it and pick it up.

Yeah, it could just be a form letter, but it’s better than 1. Being ignored and 2. Being told I stink and should throw in the towel.

Speaking of throwing things, I decided to throw my hat in the ring for Pitch Wars as well. In short, Pitch Wars gives writers the opportunity to work with a published author (mentors) to polish a manuscript. Mentors each pick a mentee from the submissions they get, they spend two months shaping the MS, and then there is an agent round.

If you’d like to watch me and other writers freak out about #PitchWars on Twitter, you can go check out that hashtag. Its both fun and masochistic at the same time.

Pitch Wars closes on August 6, and mentees are announced August 24. At this point, I have subbed to three mentors and one mentor team. They get the query and Chapter 1. I am *trying* to not obsessively track the #PWTeaser(s) on Twitter, but sometimes I just have to give in for a few minutes.

It’s out of my control, now: whether I get a mentor, whether I get an agent, whether I get published. And that is a difficult thing to sit with. If I don’t get a mentor, I will just continue querying agents. I gave myself a year, and I started this process in May.

In the meantime, time to get back to that *other* WPI (work in process), another few weeks of 9 p.m. computer time.

No matter what happens, I have written I book. I am working on another book, and I have yet a third in my brain. I can do this part.

And I can wait. I just don’t have to like it.

Is waiting the hardest part for you, too?

Letter to Congress: Health Care, Yet AGAIN


I drafted this letter before the ridiculous vote in the Senate last week. I was on vacation when I tried to publish this, and a little bit behind. But a version of this did get to Senator Toomey, and a thank you to Senator Casey. 

Dear Senator Toomey,
I am writing regarding the Better Care Reconciliation Act, the healthcare bill from the Senate, and about the Senate’s attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare in general.

Just, stop it.

The BCRA is a disaster of a bill that will hurt Pennsylvanians, not just those who have been able to get healthcare under the ACA. The ACA increased the number of Pennsylvanians who were able to get health insurance, financial security for low-income people, and access to treatment for opioid addiction and mental health issues.

The BCRA is worse than the House bill, the American Health Care Act, which is impression, because the AHCA is pretty terrible. Here is what the BCRA does worse:

  • Kills Medicaid expansion in Pennsylvania, leaving the state to cover, over the next three years, 90 percent of the cost of people added to the program. This creates a $3 billion annual funding gap, which would effectively lead our state to dropping the Medicaid expansion program — leading to sick people unable to get care.
  • Reduces funding overall to Medicaid. States will have to make up the difference with their own funds; cut programs by reducing the number of people they serve or the number or health benefits they receive; cut payment rates to providers. This will reduce access to health care for low-income populations.
  • Makes insurance subsidies less generous. This would most affect older, lower-income citizens. A silver plan for seniors under the ACA (with seniors defined as 64 or older) costs $6750 a year in premiums. Under BCRA, that cost nearly triples to $18,250 per year.
  • Consumer protection: BCRA allow insurers to charge people with pre-existing conditions more. It also ends certain essential health benefits at the insurer’s discretion, ending things like maternity care, prescription drug benefits, and addiction treatment.

Don’t pass this bill. Vote no. The President, the leader of your party, has the lowest approval rating of any President, and he’s only six months into his term. Why would you give him a victory at the cost of the people in your state depending on you? You can be a hero, Senator Toomey.

I strongly urge you to vote NO on Trumpcare, and NO on “repeal now and replace later.” Work with your colleagues in the Congress, both moderate Republicans and Democrats, to shore up the ACA, and make it continue to work for the American people, especially the most vulnerable populations, including children, the disabled, and seniors.

Thank you for your time.

Your constituent,
rpm

Source

The Silliest Update I’ve Ever Done

I did something recently that is probably de rigueur for a lot of people (at least for people in the glasses-wearing population).

I purchased prescription sunglasses. And I love them.

I started wearing glasses in second grade.

I started wearing contact lenses in eighth grade. Not just any contact lenses: gas-permeable rigid contact lenses. (Corrected my vision better, lasted longer than soft lenses, blah, blah, blah, felt like shards of glass in my eyes until my eyelids formed callouses.)

I wore gas permeable contact lenses until my final trimester of pregnancy with Michael — coincidentally my final trimester of pregnancy ever, for the rest of my life. Between pregnancy and age, I was no longer able to wear them. It was kind of nightmarish. Switching over to glasses full time took a lot of getting used to.

I eventually switched over to soft contacts, a daily-wear lens. However, soft contacts don’t correct my vision enough for all-day use sitting in front of a computer. So I tend to only use them for outdoor activities, such as swimming, hiking, and camping, for short amounts of time. If it’s sunny, I would just wear regular sunglasses.

Due to a comedy of errors that is vision health benefits, eye exams, and ordering contact lenses, I am in the midst of summer 2017 without appropriate contact lenses. I tried to order some, but my prescription wasn’t current enough, and I can’t get another eye exam until December.

So I went to Zenni Optical* to order prescription sunglasses.

My most recent pair of glasses were also ordered from Zenni, and I wasn’t 100 percent sold on the experience. They didn’t fit right, still don’t — went from too tight to too loose. The lenses get smudged too easily, and I find myself cleaning them several times a day. The whole “online experience” just didn’t work out for me.

However, it’s a different story with the sunglasses. They fit. I think they look pretty good. And it is so great to just be able to put on sunglasses and see. I’ve noticed a big difference between wearing clear lenses and sunglasses. Much less glare when I drive; I can wear them in the pool; I can even read a book out of doors without strain now.

The challenge, of course, is to make sure I don’t lose them. I can’t just run out to Target for a new pair.

*I am not being compensated in anyway for endorsing Zenni. To be honest, I’m only batting about .500 with them as a provider of glasses in any case.

How to Be A Decent Man

This list was inspired by a number of things, including a Dear Prudence letter and an article from Upworthy. (You should definitely read the Upworthy article.)

10. Don’t catcall. Anyone. At any time. It’s not flattering.

9. Don’t tell a woman to smile. We’re not here to look good for you.

8. Realize that you are not entitled to sex. No matter the size your bank account (or your cock). Again, we women do not exist for your pleasure.

7. Even if you have had sex with a woman before, you are still not entitled to sex.

6. Don’t have drunken sex. (This goes for women too.) Sex is better when you’re not trashed. I’m not saying don’t drink. Go ahead and drink! Get drunk! Have some fun. Just don’t have sex with someone you don’t know well if you or she or both of you are drunk. It ends badly.

5. Understand consent. (Link is to the clean version of the Tea Consent video. Again, another worthwhile thing to check out.)

4. Listen to women. Don’t interrupt. Don’t be thinking of what you are going to say. Just pay attention to the words coming out of her mouth. Hear her.

3. Don’t mansplain. If you don’t know what that is, or you don’t think you mansplain, think about your response. If the first word out of your mouth when responding to a woman who is talking to you is “actually,” you may be mansplaining.

2. Don’t harass women online.

1. If a woman says no, move along. Don’t call her names. You can’t go from wanting to get with a woman to calling her a bitch. That’s just dumb.

Just: Treat women like people. It’s not that difficult, it’s honestly not. Although, to be fair, you also have to stop treating women like every one is a possible sexual conquest. So, your level of difficulty may vary.

All right, ladies, what am I forgetting?