The Answer to All of Society’s Problems

As you’ve probably already heard, as it’s rightfully been all over the news & social media, there were 66 people shot in Chicago this past weekend, 12 of whom died.  These numbers are absolutely astounding on the face of it & yet for Chicago it’s really NOT all that shocking.  After all, the city has had some of the highest rates of violent crime, including murder, for years now- despite some of the strictest gun laws in the nation.  It’s almost like those laws don’t actually work… Hmmm…gun free zones

Anyway, this whole situation is obviously incredibly sad & says a lot of negative things about our society.  However, what continues to amaze me is that so many people are looking to the government for a solution when the real answer lies within our own power.  The biggest problem our society faces today is that entirely too many people believe government, specifically more rules & regulations, is the answer to all of our problems.  In reality, quite the opposite is usually true.  For decades now we’ve been handing over more & more of our freedoms to supposedly increase our safety- & yet we  are having more & more mass shootings & most of us would probably say we feel less safe now than we did in the past!  Hmm….no more big govt

I could go on & on for quite a while but for the sake of brevity (since Rachel may well wake up from her nap soon), I’ll go for short & sweet today.  The answer to all of society’s ills, from poverty to single motherhood to drugs to gangs to violent crime, is simple.  The answer is we need to focus on building strong families.  The evidence is there, folks.  Time & time again we can see that regardless of race or economic status children raised in stable, loving families fair the best in all regards.  They are more likely to succeed academically & less likely to get involved in drugs or other criminal activities.  The list goes on & on.  The answer to reducing violent crime & drug use & poverty & all these issues our society faces today is not more government.  It’s not more laws & regulations.  You can not legislate out issues as complex as poverty & racial disparities.  These things can only be addressed by building strong

I realize I am sounding far more conservative here than I actually am.  Unlike many who would agree with me on everything I’ve said thus far, I actually don’t have a problem with families not being the traditional nuclear family.  For example, I think it’s perfectly fine for stable homosexual couples to raise children.  The point is that children need to be raised in loving families who love them, discipline them, & raise them to be kind & productive members of society.  We have to stop expecting the schools to raise our children.  We have to stop expecting everyone else to take responsibility for our lives & our children’s lives.  It doesn’t work that way.  Until we start taking back that responsibility we will not see the positive changes in society that we would like to see.  Families are the most basic building block of society & until we focus on fixing that, everything else is do is in vain.  It’s really that simple.

I’m Not Afraid of Getting Old

Last week I traveled to Virginia to visit one of my best friends & attend a concert with her. After the concert as we were walking back to our cars we started talking about getting older & I told her something that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. I don’t fear getting older because to me it just seems like I’m “growing into my age.” To my great relief she completely agreed with me. (I’ve always said the way I know I’ve made a great friend is when they can relate to my weird ideas & thereby make me feel less crazy.)

age is just a number

Basically my whole life, certainly since I was 16 or thereabouts, people have always thought I’m older than I actually am. I remember during my first few weeks at college so many people were shocked when they discovered that I was only a freshman, & even as a nurse people always seem to assume I’m older & more experienced than I am. Quite a few people in my life, both my age & decades older than me, have told me that I have “an old soul.” I’ve always taken this as a compliment; some certainly meant it that way, others perhaps not.

I’m not really sure what point I’m trying to make with this post, but I see that our society is so focused on youth & constantly trying to fight or hide the signs of aging & I can’t help but feel that this has some deeper meaning. Let me be the first to admit that I know I’m going to freak out the first time I find a grey hair or notice a wrinkle on my face that isn’t from sleeping on the pillow wrong. It’s only natural to not want to be reminded of your own mortality & to want to look beautiful forever. And in our society, like most societies I suppose, young & beautiful are pretty much synonymous. (By this I mean youth does not necessarily equate to beauty but someone who is deemed beautiful is almost always young or “looks great for their age.”) But this constant obsession with looking young makes me inclined to believe that our society does not value the wisdom of old age; nor are we thankful for the opportunity to grow old.

Perhaps it comes with being a nurse but I don’t see getting older as something that should strike fear in our hearts. Even as a kid I had a pretty liberal view of aging. In fact as a child my sister & I used to say people were “getting old” in their 70’s but not actually old till their 80’s. As a nurse I’m constantly reminded that age is just a number & so many people can be “young” into their 80’s or even 90’s if their health is good & their attitude is right. Others can be “old” in their 40’s if they have poor health & a negative attitude toward life. It’s really all about perspective & understanding that life really is a gift. Again as a nurse I’m continually reminded that not everyone gets to live a long, healthy life. So to me the idea of getting older isn’t so scary, for as long as I have reasonably good health I hope I will see each new day as the gift it truly is.

I’m not blind so I know that getting older does have its own unique difficulties. But right now getting older for me just means my late 20’s & 30’s & hopefully becoming a parent some time in there. I know my attitude might change 20 or 30 years from now when getting older means arthritis, cataracts, & other age-related troubles. But for right now I have to say, unlike a lot of people, I’m not dreading turning 30 in a few years because honestly I think in my mind I’m already a bit older than my age says I am. I guess it goes back to that old soul thing because so much of the time I find myself feeling older than people my own age in the sense that I have different values about life or am simply at a different stage of life than many people my age. (I hope that doesn’t sound arrogant because I certainly don’t think I’m better than others.)

Lately I’ve seen several blog posts & articles about the self-confidence that comes with reaching your 30’s, & I have to say I can’t wait for that. I look around at people in their 30’s & up & I do feel like they are much less concerned with what everyone else thinks about them because they have learned to value themselves based on their own standards, making the opinions of the world therefore less a concern. I for one can’t wait for the day that I’m that confident!

I guess my point in writing all this is that each stage of life is of value & we shouldn’t rush through or regret any of them. You don’t have to be religious to believe that life is a gift & therefore we should cherish each day, each year, each decade & make the most of every one of them. I know our society has always joked that it’s impolite to ask a woman her age but I for one am proud of my age & plan to always be that way. I love the little old ladies who aren’t afraid to say “I’m 81 & proud of it!” I’m not saying it’s wrong to dye your hair to cover up the grey or to dress in more stylish clothes than the average person your age. Not at all. Indeed I love it when I see older people keeping up with modern technology & trends. But I also think our society needs to learn to value old age as much as it values youth & to realize that getting older isn’t a tragedy at all. It’s a gift.

I hope I will always seek to embody the best qualities of each stage of life. I aspire to never lose the magic & wonder of childhood, the passion & intensity of adolescence,  & the excitement & energy of young adulthood. As I age, I hope I can maintain all of these characteristics while also embracing the wisdom, diversity, & knowledge that come with getting older.  

What’s Wrong With Modern Women

I just finished reading an exceedingly entertaining book (How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran) which also managed to be very thought-provoking.  I highly recommend it to everyone unless you are sensitive to what most people consider foul language or blunt conversation about female anatomy.  Actually if you are one of those people you probably would benefit the most from this book as it turns out, but I digress.  In any case, my favorite part of this book was when the author pointed out some serious flaws with modern feminine society, all of which are things I have often pondered myself.  I love it when I find that my own brilliant ideas aren’t so crazy after all!  Other people are writing books about these things!  I am not insane after all!  Hallelujah!


The first of those things that modern society has gotten totally wrong is weddings.  Don’t misunderstand me here: I love weddings!  I think marriage is wonderful though I also realize that it isn’t for everyone & I’m totally ok with that.  But common sense, which is obviously not so common or else I wouldn’t be writing this, dictates that spending an average of > $20,000 on one single day is INSANE.


Ever since I was a child I’ve also been offended by the idea that a woman’s wedding day is naturally the best day of her life.  I loved my wedding day & I’ll gladly admit it was a great day which I will always remember with a smile. However, the idea that it was the BEST day of my life is frankly depressing.  How I can possibly ignore the not-so-subtle implication that everything that follows will never measure up to that one glorious day?  I don’t think I’ll ever claim any one day as the best day of my life because that implies that everything else isn’t as good.  To me a good life is made up of lots of wonderful days filled with simple joys & quiet triumphs.

But back to the original subject of the over-priced outrageous weddings that have somehow become the norm in our society.  Again common sense dictates that the insane amount of money spent on weddings would be much better spent on something that actually LASTS, for example a house that you can live in for years after the wedding.  Considering that most people buy a house &/or start a family within a few years of getting married, does it make sense to spend what money you have one an event that lasts ONE day or worse yet to get into debt over it?  The answer of course is a resounding NO!

Now if you are “blessed” enough to come from a family who can afford to spend a small fortune on a wedding without making a dent in the family finances, then have at it.  I still find the idea fairly silly but that is just me.  But most of us cannot afford these lavish weddings & it’s ridiculous to continue to conform to societal pressure to have an expensive wedding just because it’s “what everyone else is doing.”  I’m not saying you should give up on all of your “dream wedding” ideas but please realize that no one cares half as much about all the details of this day as you do.  Do you think anyone is going to go home & scrutinize the centerpieces from your reception or the wedding favors?  Uh, no.  And if they do they have WAYYYY too much time on their hands.  Get real, folks.  I’m not saying you can’t have fun planning your wedding.  Sure you can!  But just remember that after the day is over, THAT IS IT!  Do you really want to start your marriage financially strapped because of an expensive wedding?  Marriage can be stressful enough, so why add financial worries to the pile?  And if your parents are paying for the wedding, consider that they have better things to spend their money on than your wedding day.  Sorry if that sounds harsh but it’s true.  Your parents deserve to spend their hard-earned money on something that lasts longer than a few hours.  The way I see it is if your wedding day is the most important day of your life, you need to reexamine your priorities in life.  Marriage is wonderful and is one of the most important things in life, but marriage isn’t made up of the wedding.  Marriage is made up of the relationship you built before the wedding & the relationship you maintain after it.


The second thing women are getting totally wrong these days is shoes.  Ladies, please explain to me why we continue to torture ourselves with those awful devices

called high heels?  Now if some of you honestly find these shoes comfortable, then go right ahead.  But for the rest of you I really don’t want to hear your complaints about how much your feet/back/knees hurt after wearing these ridiculous shoes!  No one is forcing you to wear stilettos.

stilettosThank God the days of women being expected to wear such shoes are over.  Besides that, ask any reasonable man & most of them will tell you that heels are not that sexy!  I hate to break it to you but shoes cannot drastically change your appearance.  If your legs look fat in regular shoes, they are still going to look fat in heels.  Odds are your legs don’t even look fat in the first place, but you just think they do because we’ve been conditioned to think anything that isn’t a bird leg is fat, but that is a whole different discussion right there.

So really, girls, why is that is almost every woman these days owns > 20 pairs of shoes (I’m just guessing here but that has to be about right), many of which are never actually worn or if they are worn are so uncomfortable as to make you wonder what the heck you were thinking when you put bought them?  Why are we spending hundreds of dollars on expensive heels for weddings & other events when we often cast them aside at the first possible chance because our feet are screaming “Let me out!!!”?  Please, someone tell me what the logic is here because I am not getting it.  Now maybe I am just bitter because my size 9-10 feet often do not fit in the cute shoes because those shoes aren’t even made in my size.  But frankly I find most of today’s shoes ugly anyway & besides that I have never seen the logic in sacrificing comfort for fashion.  I’m not saying I am going to wear yoga pants to a wedding, but I refuse to ever wear anything that literally HURTS me just to look good.  The way I see it is if a man only finds me attractive because of my shoes, then he has some serious issues & I don’t need him anyway.  As my dear husband so often points out, the last thing a man is interested in is your FEET.  Feet just aren’t that sexy on anyone.


coach bag

On to the third subject: handbags!  Now I understand that some women find purses legitimately interesting but I have just never seen the logic in spending hundreds of dollars on something to put my money in!  Acck, that is just so contradictory that it hurts my brain.  I really hate to offend anyone, but honestly can you blame men for disrespecting the female gender when we willingly spend HUNDREDS of dollars on ONE purse just because it’s Coach or Kate Spade or whatever?  I know I am hopelessly lost in the fashion world, but I have looked at these purses.  Really I have.  I have honestly tried to see if there is something special about them that justifies the insane prices women pay for these things.  And what I have found is that these purses are just normal purses!  They might be made of slightly better material than the handbags found at Wal-Mart.  But not that much better!  I’ve grown up a lot over the past few years & I can honestly say that I am now willing to spend $30-$40 on Gap Jeans because they legitimately are better made & are much more flattering on me than the $20 jeans at Wal-Mart.  But the price difference there is manageable.  $400 on a purse is just insane, ladies!  It’s a PURSE!  If you can’t see the problem here, I think you need to reevaluate what’s important in your life.  I personally refuse to be manipulated by marketing into thinking that I must have some expensive Coach bag to complete me as a woman.  I don’t need any such accessory.  Trust me, no man is going to care what kind of purse you’re carrying unless it’s made of cat fur or something creepy like that.  And if you’re worried that other women will not respect you or find you “cool” if you refuse to buy these overpriced handbags, then you need to find some new friends.

Now please understand this diatribe is filled with a lot of sarcasm & is intended to be humerous but also thought-provoking.  With that in mind, feel free to share your opinions on these matters.  🙂