Starting my own publishing company and becoming a writer in my mid-forties has been exciting, empowering, a huge learning experience, but also somewhat frightening. There is so much to learn, and mistakes are made, one after another until you figure out how to do it right. Then when you figure out how to do that one thing right, you inevitably do something else wrong. But you do learn, and you grow, and eventually, you start figuring it all out (well maybe not all, but at least most of it).
At some point, you begin to realize you are not as clueless as you once thought you were. You start writing and even selling books. People begin to ask you when your next book is coming out. Mothers e-mail you to tell you their daughter liked your first book so much, she can’t wait until you write another one. You start feeling great. You even feel a little bit proud of yourself, which is something that hasn’t happened in a very long time. You’ve been proud of your kids, your husband, even your friends, but it’s been awhile since you’ve really and truly been proud of yourself. It feels good.
Then you meet someone you think you can trust- someone who convinces you he wants your business and is more than happy to help you navigate the world of printing and publishing because he knows you’re a novice. You put your trust in him, you hire him, and you think you are in a good place.
Then this happens…
You realize there are snakes out there. You painfully accept that there are people who lie, cheat, and bend over backwards to get your business, but then betray your trust and even make sure you know that you are only a small fish in a sea of much larger ones. And this person only respects his business relationships with the larger fish. His time is more important that yours. He is more important than you, and at some point, his true colors show and he tells you exactly what he really thinks of you and your tiny business.
Our first meeting went well. He was charming and knowledgeable. He bought me coffee. He told me how impressive and brave it was that I decided to start my own publishing company instead of selling my books to a larger publishing house. He said he admired my hard work, and he told me how good my books were. He even told me that I should visit his wife at her school (she’s a teacher), and read one of my books to the children in her class.
I published my first book, and it was a small success. I paid him well for his part in the printing of the book and his time- not a lot, and certainly not as much as his bigger clients, but it was a lot for me. After all, I had just started this new business and my company didn’t have a lot of money to spare.
When it came to my second book, of course I thought I’d use the same printer and I thought the relationship I had with this point of contact was a good one. You see, it’s always been very important for me to publish ALL of my books in the United States. I know it’s usually cheaper to send the printing out to other countries, but for me, I want all my books printed in the USA. In fact, I want all my books printed in Michigan. That’s one of the big reasons I chose this specific printer-- they were a family owned business right here in my home state. That meant a lot to me at the time, and it still does. It is a bit more expensive, but in my opinion, it’s worth it.
The second book was a bigger chapter book, so it took more time to write, more time to edit, and a lot more time for my graphic designer to layout. My point of contact at the printing office wanted me to go with a new product they had- a print on demand option that would be located right on their web site.
At first, the print on demand option sounded great. I spoke with my contact about it, and told him that it sounded like something I would like to do, but that I wanted to talk with my business partner (who also happens to be my husband), before I made any decisions.
After my husband spoke with our printer contact, and after my husband and I did our research and figured in the cost, we decided the print on demand option wasn’t as cost-effective as we once thought it might be. We decided to continue having customers order my books on my web site. We informed our printer contact, and at the time, I didn’t think he seemed very happy, but I let it go. After all, I was the customer, and I needed to do what was right for my company. Certainly he could understand that. I was still going to use his company for the printing of my second book, and the four more I had just waiting to be printed, so there was still quite a bit of business coming his way. Our contact provided us with a quote for printing book number two, so we were just about ready to proceed.
I let my printer contact know that I still had a few edits to make on the book, so it would be a couple months before I would be completely ready to go ahead with printing. He seemed fine with it, but looking back now, I think he was getting tired of me. Waiting for me meant waiting for payment, and waiting for the small amount of commission he would receive.
In the meantime, unbeknownst to me, the printing company I had been using merged with a much larger company. Strangely enough, my contact had sent letters out to other clients he worked with alerting them to this change, but he didn’t tell me. No longer was the company a small, local printer, they were now a very large company. But after doing some research, I found out the new company was actually family-owned and based in Michigan. I was happy with that news and decided to stick with them as my printer.
Once all the edits were finished and my graphic designer was able to get the entire book laid out for me, it was finally ready to go to print. I was excited and a bit nervous. After all, I had spent the last two years of my life writing, editing, finding an agent out of New York, NY, re-writing, and pouring my heart into the 152 pages it took all of my blood, sweat, and tears to write. I’d created characters I loved, and this book was really my “baby”. I couldn’t believe we were finally at the point where I would soon see my very first chapter book in print.
Since it had been a couple of months since the last quote we’d received from the printer, my contact there said he’d provide me with a new one. The new quote was sent (by a new person I’d not worked with before), and the cost had increased by $500.00. Of course that amount isn’t much for a larger company to pay, but for a small, new business, it’s a lot of money. My husband asked why the quote was so much more than the last one for the same book.
The new person who’d sent the quote said she would check with the quote department and get back with us.
The next quote came and it, too, was incorrect. It was still $500.00 more, and it didn’t include measurements of the book, nor did they include the cream-colored paper I had specifically requested for the inside pages, they had quoted them as white-colored paper (which is more costly). So we asked again, why the increase (because that had not yet been explained), and to please include the measurements of the book, as well as change the paper color.
My original contact at the company, the man who assured me he’d work with me, be understanding, hold my hand along the way, sent back a very abrupt, rude, and dismissive e-mail indicating that too much time had passed, too many questions had been asked about this, and that he’d deal with us “tomorrow”.
Needless to say, I wasn’t happy. My husband called him, and that’s when all Hell broke loose. My husband informed the printer that the quote wasn’t right, there was information missing, and we still hadn’t been given a reason as to why the quote had increased in price. He told the printer that maybe the new girl sending the quotes wasn’t sure what we had asked for (since she hadn’t been working with us at all until that very day), or maybe the department she was getting the quotes from didn’t understand, because they were “zero out of two” for quotes.
The printer guy went absolutely batshit crazy. He screamed at my husband for “bashing his staff”, told him he wasn’t going to talk with him anymore about this and that my husband should “call me tomorrow and just tell me what you want to do”.
Well, that’s when I lost my shit. And it’s never good when I lose my shit.
But it didn’t stop there.
The printer guy then sent a flurry of text messages to my husband that were completely uncalled for, immature, and extremely disrespectful. This is just some of what he wrote, word for word…
"Good luck with the publishing company you tout. Good luck on finding a vendor with a competitive price. Good luck with the whining in the future with you and everything. I know that the $2000 job that I'm missing out on is going to change my sales numbers for the worse for the rest of my life. The 20 conversations we had on it were not worth the 200,000 job but I'm glad that you know all about me and my company. And since you are researching my company you can see that we do $35 million a year in production but good luck in contacting the President about a 2000 job".
With my shit already being lost, I didn’t think I could get anymore angry, but I did. I sent an e-mail to EVERY single executive at this guy’s new, large, “$35 million a year in production company”, that didn’t have time, nor gave a crap about working with a small, stupid, question-asking company like mine. I also sent an e-mail to the printer guy’s old, smaller, local company’s office manager. The executives at the new company responded immediately and assured me that the behavior of their employee was unacceptable and definitely not in line with their business motto and philosophy. The office manager at the printer guy’s former company also sent me a follow up message assuring me that the matter would be investigated.
The best part of the whole thing was that at 7:30 this very morning, a mere nine hours after I’d sent my e-mails to the executive team, Printer Guy was contacted by his new company’s President, and he was not happy. I guess when Printer Guy said we’d need “good luck in contacting the President about a 2000 job”, he didn’t realize we must have some really good luck, because his boss wasted no time in contacting him about my “$2000 job”.
I learned a lesson in all of this, and it was a painful one. I was won over by this person’s charm, the glossy and fancy printing samples he brought to our first meeting, the fact that his wife is a teacher (I have a soft spot for teachers), and he has young children. I thought for sure a husband and a father would be a good person and someone I could trust. Next time I will be more careful.
I have no idea what’s going to happen to the guy after this, but I suspect that I am not the first, nor will I be the last customer to complain about his rude, bizarre, and disrespectful behavior. I have a feeling that at some point, this arrogant bastard will get what he deserves. I only wish I could be a fly on the wall when that time comes.
Business is tough, and it would be easy for me to say, “This is too much. I can’t trust anyone. It’s not worth it.” But I’m not going to do that. I’m not going to quit, nor will I stay silent. I have had it with people, men in particular, who think they can call me names, intimidate me, or try to make me feel “small” because he thinks he’s some sort of important salesperson who works for a big company, and he looks down on anyone who isn’t up to his standards.
My company may be small now, but it’s mighty, and it’s growing. The future is wide open and there’s no telling what could happen for me. I’m sure this won’t be the last time I lose my shit, but you better believe that when it happens again, I’ll be ready.
I totally lost my shit the other day, and I don’t think I’m sorry about it. It’s a very long story, so I’ll try my best to condense the details.
My son had a sporting event scheduled in the afternoon on a Saturday. We drove at least thirty miles to get there, paid for parking, paid to get into the event, only to find out that none of his fellow team members were there, his coaches were not there, and he wasn’t on the list of registered participants.
We quickly found a person from the hosting team of the event, and she took my son to talk with one of the officials to find out what had happened. She came back a few minutes later and told me that the mistake happened because “your coaches showed up late this morning and didn’t register your son in time, so he was left off the list. He won’t be able to participate today.”
We left the event, and as we were driving home, I composed an email to one of the coaches of my son’s team. I wasn’t happy, so I’m sure the email didn’t come across as necessarily friendly, but I didn’t go overboard or blame anyone at first, I simply asked for the coach to explain how the situation could have happened.
Less than twenty minutes later, I received a reply that contained absolutely no apology, and was told that there had been an e-mail sent out ten days prior that had explained that my son and a few of his teammates had to be bumped from the afternoon session of the event, and moved to the morning session. I was also told that I “must have misunderstood the officials at the event, because they would never say the coaches were late. The coaches were on time, and the officials would never have told you our coaches were late.”
Um, but they did. That’s what she said, whether it was true or not.
I responded by apologizing for missing the e-mail that had been sent letting me know that my son wasn’t going to be participating in the afternoon session, but the morning session. I acknowledged that it was, in fact, my fault, obviously. I pointed out that I was usually pretty on top of things, and that I must have just overlooked the e-mail.
I thought the conversation was finished there, but the coach came back several minutes later with, “You opened the email on…”
So, after I’d already apologized that I didn’t read the e-mail, and acknowledged the situation was my fault, the coach made it a point to go back and investigate that I must have seen the e-mail, opened it, and ignored it.
It was then, at that moment, that I LOST MY SHIT. All of my shit- gone.
I thanked the coach for her diligent investigation and confessed that I probably saw the e-mail, clicked on it, started reading it (I don’t know, maybe), and then got distracted by something, all the while telling myself I’d go back and read the email, then didn’t. My bad.
Maybe it was the day I burned dinner, or crashed my car, or the day my dog barfed all over the carpet because he has pancreatitis (awesome!). I guess I’d have to go back and try to remember to check the date (the coach was so thoughtful to point out to me), I opened the email and forgot about it, to actually try to remember what was going on at the exact moment I chose to NOT read an important e-mail sent to me by my son’s coach.
Furthermore, I made sure I told the coach, I didn’t really appreciate the fact that I was told that I “misunderstood” the conversation I had with the official at the sporting event, because I was actually THERE, whereas the coach was NOT THERE, and both my husband and son heard the exact same thing I did. None of us misunderstood anything.
I thought about how I would have handled the situation had the roles been reversed- if I had been the coach, and a parent e-mailed me because she was upset over a certain situation. If it would have been me as the coach, here’s the email I would have send the parent instead…
Dear Mrs. Landry,
I am so sorry for the confusion about today’s event. I did send out on e-mail on (date), to explain that your son’s events had been moved, and you did open it on (date), but I know things sometimes get hectic.
All of our coaches were at the event early, definitely not late, so I am very sorry that you were told otherwise. We would have never registered everyone else and forgotten about your son. He is a very important part of our team, and I hope to see him on Monday at practice.
See, it’s not that hard to be polite. I have no problem admitting that I dropped the ball and didn’t read an important e-mail. If I had, the whole situation would have never happened. So, yes, it was my fault. But why couldn’t it have ended there? Why did this person, whom I am actually PAYING to teach my kid how to play this sport, feel that it was necessary to point out that I had opened the e-mail, and that I didn’t understand whatever it was the official had told me? Why did the coach automatically assume I was the person in the wrong, and not the person at the sporting event, who told me the coaches were late?
I should also point out here that my son has not been on this team very long. We are new members, so we don’t always know exactly what’s going on. One would think, or at least I would, that the coaches would give me just a bit of understanding when I screw something up. I mean, isn’t there a learning curve or something? Don’t they have a grace period for parents who are distracted, overwhelmed, and NEW??? If they don’t, they should.
I’m pretty sure I overreacted a bit, but I don’t think I’m sorry. I did lose my shit, but again, I really don’t think I’m sorry. And the more I think about it, the less sorry I get.
I’m tired of being talked down to. I’m tired of people out there thinking that it’s easy to be a mother, whether you work outside the home or not, and keep everything together all the time. It’s not easy, in fact, it’s impossible. Emails go unread and are sometimes forgotten. Kids are dropped off late and sometimes picked up too early. Life happens to all of us, and I’m just asking for a little bit of understanding.
I didn’t ask the coach why, when my kid is practicing said sport at least two or three days per week, he wasn’t told that his events were moved from the afternoon to the morning. Had that been done (because some of the time, my kid is actually more on top of things than I am), I might have remembered I overlooked an email, went back and read it, and we would have all been happy.
I’m sure these coaches get blamed for a lot of things they shouldn’t be blamed for. I’m certain crazy parents (like me), e-mail them, yell at them, maybe even curse at them sometimes, and I think that’s awful. But at the same time, what happened to a time when the person you are paying to coach your kid (this is not a volunteer), can’t just be understanding that you screwed up?
Why did I have to be sent a condescending e-mail after I had ALREADY apologized for making a mistake, that further pointed out that I didn’t just miss an e-mail, I opened that Mother F*er and didn’t bother to read it? Why did I need to be told that I misunderstood a conversation I had JUST HAD with the official? I was there. My son’s coach was not. But clearly, in the coach’s eyes, I was already an incompetent parent who doesn’t read important e-mails, so I had to have misunderstood that very recent conversation. It couldn’t have been some official, whom nobody knows, who said the wrong thing. It had to have been me.
I’m quite sure the team now has my name on a folder they keep in the “Horribly Argumentative Parents” filing cabinet, and every coach probably thinks I need therapy or drugs or both. Little do they know, I’m already covered on both those fronts, so my shit losing happens even when I am fully counseled AND on the drugs. Mic drop.
I went to bed that night, thinking that maybe I was too hard on the coach. Maybe I should have let the “misunderstood” comment slide, and perhaps I shouldn’t have lost my shit over the fact that the coach went back into the e-mail history to just MAKE SURE I opened that freaking e-mail of destiny so that it could be further pointed out that it was ME who screwed up and not anyone else.
But I decided that no, I’m not going to apologize anymore. I’m done with that shit. I’ve said “I’m sorry” to so many people over the years who have talked down to me, sent me condescending e-mails, treated me badly, or just plain ignored me, and I’m done. I’m a forty-seven-year-old mother of two teenaged boys and I’m tired. I’m tired of trying to keep the peace when someone treats my kids or me like crap or talks to me like I’m an idiot, ESPECIALLY if I am paying them money. They don’t have to like me, but they better, at the very least, be polite.
I had no problem with the coach pointing out there was an e-mail sent. I also do not care that I was told I opened the email, but it was the delivery of these facts that made me lose my shit. Furthermore, DO NOT tell me about a conversation I JUST HAD ten minutes prior to our e-mail spat if YOU WERE NOT THERE. That is just going to cause me to LOSE MY SHIT!!
So, no. Nobody is getting another “I’m sorry” from me unless they truly deserve it. If I do something wrong, I’ll apologize, but I’m no longer going to let anyone talk to me like I don’t have a clue about how to organize my life. And, yes, there are days when I absolutely DO NOT have a clue about how to organize my life, but dammit, nobody needs to point it out. I ALREADY KNOW IT, BIOTCHES!
PS- I do not hate above mentioned coach. I have no idea what kind of day the coach was having, and if it was anything at all like mine, I suppose Coach just lost some shit. I also do not hold grudges, so as long as my kid is happy on the team, I’m happy. But I cannot promise that my shit will not ever be lost again. In fact, it’s very likely that my shit will be lost again sooner, rather than later, and I probably will not apologize.
I spent this past weekend in Indiana, at my alma mater, reuniting with several old friends. We sang together at Purdue, back in the day, in a group called the Purduettes. It was the late eighties/early nineties, the time of big hair, puffy shoulder pads, and for me, the first time I spent any time away from home, my parents, and my tiny town nestled in the middle of cornfields and farmhouses.
As a child, just about all I ever wanted was to be able to be a Purduette (or to be famous and rich, but I had to be realistic). I know, to some it might seem silly- the fact that when I was in high school, I picked the college I was to attend because I wanted to be in a singing group. But, in my defense, it wasn’t just any singing group. To me, the girls/women in the group were educated, beautiful, talented, and polished. People would come from miles to see them sing at the Purdue Christmas Show, along with the Purdue Glee Club, the University Choir, the Bell Choir, and the more recently added groups to the Purdue Musical Organizations family.
And it was a family. We met as a group three times per week as a class, receiving no academic credit, rehearsing for concerts on most weekends. Some concerts took place during the week. We wore fancy (looking back now, it’s more like hideous), dresses, copious amounts of makeup, and used hundreds of cans of Aquanet hairspray to keep each strand of hair in place as we danced and sang on stage in front of people I thought were “old” at them time, many of them probably younger than I am now.
My audition for the Purduettes was awful. I know, I know, that’s what everyone says, but really, mine was. I got too nervous, my voice shook as I sang, and perspired so much, I was positive the directors watching me could see me drowning in my own sweat.
I left the audition in tears, walked back to my dorm crying, immediately picked up the telephone in my room, and called my mother. I sobbed in her ear for about ten minutes, then proceeded to contact both my vocal coach and my high school drama teacher, telling them how sorry I was that I blew the audition. I’d worked for years, starting in the fifth grade, taking lessons in order to get my voice to the place that was good enough to make it into the Purduettes. And at the time it mattered the most, I ‘d completely tanked. I was shattered.
The next day, I knew the list of newly inducted Purduettes would be hanging on the door at the Elliott Hall of Music. I debated as to whether or not I should even go look. I knew I wouldn’t make it. But, I thought to myself, “I need to get myself together. If I didn’t make the Purduettes, maybe I made one of the other groups.” I crossed my fingers and walked to the Hall of Music
I checked the list. I looked at every other group and didn’t see my name.
“My God. I didn’t make it into anything,” my head was spinning, and tears formed in my already red, burning eyes.
I glanced at the Purduettes list. I figured I might as well see the names of the girls who would be enjoying the next four years in the group of MY dreams. And there it was, at the top of the list, my name. I blinked. I checked again. It was my name. I’d made it.
I don’t know what happened. I don’t know if my vocal coach secretly knew someone at PMO and called them after my audition and begged them to take me. Maybe my high school drama teacher had gone to college with one of the directors and they made a deal? Or maybe my dad (who was a cop), had called the head director of PMO and told him he’d arrest him if I didn’t get into the group? I’m not kidding, these were the thoughts that went through my mind when I saw my name on that list.
The euphoria I felt that day cannot be explained. I was so ready to get started, to begin to practice and perform, I don’t think I slept in the nights leading up to our first rehearsal. And at that first rehearsal, I met Brian Breed and Jae Kellogg, our directors, and two people who would help to change my life in some of the best ways possible.
And on that day, I met a large group of girls who would forever become my friends and my family.
This past weekend, we were brought together again. The Purduettes have been in existence for seventy-five years. Hundreds of past and present Purduettes gathered together this weekend to reconnect, rehearse together again, perform in a concert, and pay tribute to one of our favorite and best directors, Jae Kellogg. It was truly the best experience I’ve had in a very long time. As Jae put it this weekend, “These were some of my very best days ever, and I’ve had a lot of good days.”
Being a member of PMO helped me adjust to college life, gave me the confidence I needed to succeed, and provided me with friends for life. Our first director, Brian, welcomed me right away, and for some reason I’ll never know, thought I’d be a great person to babysit for his children. At the time, he and his wife, Daren, had four kids (they added two more after I graduated). When Brian asked me to stay after rehearsal one day, I figured he was going to tell me to maybe just “mouth” the words in some of the more difficult songs instead of actually singing them. But no, he asked if I’d be interested in babysitting for his kids. I was delighted and humbled. Of course I said I’d love to do it.
The kids were smart, fun, creative, and adorable. I loved them immediately, just as I loved Brian’s wife, Daren. These people were the real thing. They were happy and healthy. Brian and Daren held hands and still kissed in front of their kids. They sat and told me stories of how them met (singing in the Fred Waring Choir), and how they had to keep their dating a secret from their director because they’d be kicked out of the group if he’d found out.
After a night of babysitting, Daren would sometimes make us tea and we’d sit and talk about life, how I was doing at Purdue, if I was okay and adjusting well. They took me in as a part of their family. They were kind and loving, and I felt so honored that they trusted me with their children. I was lucky. I’m not sure I knew how lucky back then, but I certainly realize it now.
Brian took over as the head director of the entire Purdue Musical Organizations shortly after my freshman year. Jae took over as our director, and I loved her, too. We all did. She was bright, super-talented, vibrant, funny, and had more energy than half of the twenty-year olds I knew. She was a single mom, and sometimes her little children- a boy and a girl, would board the Purduette bus with all of us and go with us to concerts. They were like our little Purduette mascots.
There’s something about sharing a stage with others who love doing the same things you love to do. There’s a certain bond you share when you are part of group practicing together and working toward the same goals. None of us were music majors, as Purdue didn’t, and still does not, have a School of Music. All of this was an extra-added bonus that we chose to do because we loved music, we loved performing, and as time went on, we loved each other.
I’ve shared the stage with girls who have now grown up to be federal prosecutors, homemakers, engineers, professors, pilots, flight attendants, politicians, teachers, doctors, and more. Not only were they talented performers, they were smart, beautiful, creative and loyal. To this day, I truly believe that if I needed something, and I called on one of my former Purduette friends, she would be there to help me without any hesitation.
After college, we all go our separate ways. We start our careers, we get married, we have children. We tend to lose touch because life gets in the way. But this past weekend, we all came together again, and it was as if we’d lost no time. We may have all (well, not all, but definitely me), gained a few more pounds, inherited a few more wrinkles, forgotten most of the words to our old songs, but when we saw each other again, the pounds were ignored, the wrinkles didn’t matter, and the words came back to us as we walked on stage and sang again together once more.
We rehearsed together on Saturday morning for the concert that was to be Saturday night, and as soon as I opened my mouth to sing the first song, tears sprang forth in my eyes. It felt so good to be home. It felt so right to be standing on stage again, doing something I had always loved, and sharing it with the men and women who had helped me become the person I am today.
I’m not good at going back. I have a hard time seeing people who’ve meant so much to me and then having to say “goodbye.” I know I’m weird. I hope they don’t think I don’t care. It’s so much the opposite. Sometimes I just care too much.
But this weekend, this wonderful, happy, joyful weekend was perfect. My friends met my husband for the first time. They embraced him with their giant hugs and handshakes, and they told him stories about me that he’d never heard. The moment the first Purduette hugged him this weekend, I knew he was now also a part of the PMO family. He has no idea yet how lucky he is, but he’s about to find out.
To my friends, my Sisters in Song, to Brian, Daren, Jae, and their children, to all the people at PMO who have touched my life in a way that no one else can understand, thank you for teaching me the meaning of friendship and love, loyalty and grace. Thank you for accepting me into your world on that first day when I walked into the Hall of Music, so nervous and afraid, and showing me that for some reason, you saw something in me that made you think I could add value and belong to this amazing, vibrant, spectacular, exciting, extraordinary, and brilliant place of love, family, song, and sisterhood.
Thank God for that time of my life. Thank God for the people who accepted me, and still accept me, just the way I am. The memories I have are so treasured. This past weekend we all spent together has meant so much to me, and I know now that we never truly ever said goodbye.
Dear Secretary Clinton,
I will be honest here- I have been crying for two days. I wanted you to win. I dreamed of watching you accept the title of Madam President on Inauguration Day. You need to know that you did everything you could have done to achieve that goal; there was nothing more you could have done.
Of course I do not know you personally, but I am so very PROUD of you. You have spent your entire life trying to fight for us- for ALL of us, never mind color, culture, race, creed, or sex. You have fought for us all, and we are so much greater for it.
You allowed my two young sons to see a woman, who is not unlike their own grandmother and mother, work hard, study, learn, grow, and achieve her goals all the while helping others to achieve theirs. I'm sick that our next President does not reflect the values and goals of my family. In fact, Donald Trump is the exact opposite of who I'm raising my sons to be, so this loss hurts.
I am sad. I am angry. Yesterday I wasn't sure if I could get out of my bed and move forward. But then there was you. You got yourself up and out of your bed. You showered, probably ate a little breakfast, did your hair, put on some makeup, and you rose above all of this negativity, hurt feelings and broken hearts and you stood in front of the entire world, after losing the fight of your life, and with the strength of one hundred elephants on stampede, you told us all to not give up.
You accepted defeat with calm and grace. You gave your support to our President-Elect, even after he disrespected you a million times, called you names, and disagrees with almost every value you hold dear.
You told every little girl watching, like my ten-year-old niece who burst into tears when she heard you had lost the election, that they all mattered. You let them know that their time would come, and that just because that glass ceiling may not have yet been broken, it has been severely cracked right down the middle.
You paved the way for us, Secretary Clinton. You allowed me to go to my local polling place on Tuesday, and for the first time in my forty-six years of life, mark that box to vote for our first woman President. Never before have I so lovingly and carefully filled in a tiny oval. I left the middle school gymnasium that day smiling and realizing that I had a small part in making history. You did that for me, and I'm so very grateful.
Yesterday, when my youngest son, who is twelve years old, asked me if he could call Donald Trump a "jerk", instead of telling him that, actually, I'd like to call him something worse, I told him that we could not. I followed your lead and told my son that Trump was now the President-Elect and we would have to find a way to respect him, or at the very least, respect the office of the President of the United States. I let both of my sons know that we needed to make every effort to find the good here and go with that.
I told my sons that this new President will not change us or the way we live our lives. We will still volunteer at the homeless shelter in Detroit. We will still respect and love our friends no matter what race or religion they are. We will still believe there is good in this world, and we will be just some of the people who help spread that goodness everywhere.
My sons, my husband and I will still support a strong, educated, and hard-working woman who strives to push on that crack in the glass ceiling and watch it shatter all around us.
As you mentioned yesterday in your speech, even though I feel sad, even though we are suffering a painful loss, it was all worth it. We made history together, and you made it all possible.
Thank you for doing it. Thank you for getting up
on the stage, over and over, to debate a man who called you a "Nasty Woman", and who clearly did not know even half as much as you did about the job he's now been given. It could not have been easy, but you did it without losing your composure, which, to me, may have been the most impressive thing of all.
As I sit here and listen to the names of the possible people our new President is choosing to put in his cabinet and on his staff, most, if not all of them rich, white men, I will try to remain positive. I will try to remind myself of that wide crack in the ceiling and remember that, in four more years, we have another chance to make things right.
You did this for me. You did this for my sons. You did it for my niece.
When you feel down and you second guess yourself in those brief moments when you are alone, don't forget how many of us out here who have been made stronger and better because you chose to do something no woman has ever done before.
And also remember that over and above all the amazing things you have achieved in your life, probably the single best thing you ever did was raise a strong, confident, smart and loyal daughter who is now a mother of her own. When the going gets tough, take out a picture of your two grandchildren and remind yourself how proud they will be to know that their grandmother changed history in more ways than one.
Thank you. Thank you for your service to our country and for everything you've done for woman all over the world.
You can take a break now, if you so choose. We've got your back. No worries.
Tammi Landry-Gilder, Author, Wife, Mother, Blogger
You can find this post here https://themighty.com/2016/09/feeling-suicidal-letter-to-someone-whos-lost-hope/
You can find this post here http://herviewfromhome.com/children-are-off-limits/
You can find this blog post here http://herviewfromhome.com/to-my-firstborn-as-you-find-your-own-way/
You can find this post here http://herviewfromhome.com/a-fall-at-the-playground-changed-their-lives/
You can find this blog post here http://herviewfromhome.com/parenting-is-acting/
So there’s a bunch of weirdos walking around dressed as clowns scaring the living sh*t out of people all over the United States. Honestly, I can only ask, “What. The. F?”
Here’s what I’m thinking…
It takes quite a bit of work to get all fancied up and made up like a clown. There’s the costume, the hair, the make-up, the sometimes assorted props; it just seems like way too much effort put into doing something that is terrifying people of all ages. Is it really worth it? It’s enough for me to get up every morning, take a shower, blow dry my hair, apply some sort of facial cleanser, moisturizer and makeup, so I can’t imagine waking up one day and saying to myself, “Hey, I’m gonna take an extra hour or two to make myself up as a clown, walk around silently in my neighborhood, and cause children to need hundreds of hours of therapy, scare dogs, and freak out every passerby I see.”
I don’t mind clowns. There are plenty of friendly, happy, helpful people out there who dress up as clowns and perform at parties. They try to bring joy to people, make people laugh, and spread happiness. Now these evil, weird, creepy clowns are walking around ruining it for all the nice, not-so-creepy clowns out there, and that’s just rude. Stop ruining everything for the good clowns!
I can only imagine that the people dressing up as the creepy clowns don’t have much going on in their lives to begin with. I’m all for scaring people at Halloween. I think it’s a lot of fun. I also enjoy it when Ellen Degeneres has people on her show and she scares the crap out of them. It’s hilarious. But I think the creepy clowns are taking this a bit too far.
In all seriousness, someone is going to get hurt. The next thing we’ll hear on the late night TV news will be that a group of people beat up a man dressed as a clown and he’s now clinging to life in a local hospital, or a creepy clown was slowly following a couple of teenagers down a path in a park and one of the teens pulled out a knife and stabbed the clown to death. It’s going to happen- something bad. It’s only a matter of time.
My youngest son, who is in the seventh grade, came home after school yesterday and told me that everyone is talking about the scary clowns. He said that there are several children who are so frightened, they have decided to not go trick-or-treating this year.
Now the clowns are ruining Halloween? Not acceptable.
So, here’s my message to you, Creepy Clown-folk…
Enough is enough. It was sort of funny the first time, but now it’s gone too far. There are stories about a woman being attacked by a clown, a child followed by a clown, teenagers chased by a clown with a knife. It needs to stop, or we’re going to have a plethora of dead clowns lying around in places all over the country, and that’s not good for anyone.
You are freaks, and you need to get your sh*t together. Rather than roaming around aimlessly in your clown suit, find a job or go volunteer at a soup kitchen somewhere. Do some good. Stop scaring innocent people, or you yourself are going to get hurt. Or worse.