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Saturday, June 25, 2011

Gays, lesbians, and the question that pushes history

Should men be allowed to marry men? Women be allowed to marry women?

I don't know if anyone should ever be "allowed" to marry. My feeling about marriage is as skewed as you might expect from a twice married, retired cynic.

But that's the point, isn't it? Why should my feelings about who marries whom mean anything to anyone?

Although I have no dog in this fight, I was thrilled with the recent decision in New York. I guess I'm in good company. Hollywood elites are twittering their delight over the news. Apparently Steve Martin was so enthused, he proposed to Alec Baldwin.

My inability to get up a strong opinion on who marries whom doesn't seem to stop my state legislators from spending their time fantasizing over the sex lives of lesbians-in-love and gay men.

Here in Minnesota, we're gearing up for an amendment to our state constitution to make certain the marriage of homosexual or lesbian couples never happens on our sacred soil.

Asking citizens to decide this issue is a little like asking the Carpet Baggers of 1870 if blacks should vote, the 1945 Klan if Jews should marry Baptists, the 1955 members of Yale's Skull and Bones if the university should admit women.

Our Republican legislators articulate a strange justification for the vote, which will be on our November 2012 ballot.

"This is not about hatred, it is not about discrimination or intolerance," Republican Representative Steve Gottwalt said of the amendment. "I have faith we as Minnesotans can have a reasonable dialogue on this issue characterized by respect and decency and allow the people of Minnesota to decide."

That's where I'm tossed. I'm never too comfortable letting the "people" decide on issues that move us forward.

Why? Because most of us like things as they are.

Susan B. Anthony spent her entire adult life fighting for women's suffrage. She died before women were granted the vote in 1920; a decision seventy-three years in the making.

I sleep well at night, knowing I live in a republic, where elected officials make decisions on my behalf. If I lived in a democracy where the masses ruled, I fear my sex would still be the legal property of fathers and husbands; my female children would not have the right to inherit or work. No - - "the people" are not usually the best force for history's epiphany.

I hate to see these important, critical issues handed over to people like me - who care when called upon, but don't deserve this kind of power over the happiness of others.

When we start thinking that the world is becoming a more humane, sane and open place, remember this: Twenty-nine states have adopted constitutional amendments restricting marriage as between a man and a woman, and 12 other states have passed laws to that effect, according to the Human Rights Campaign.

Here in the heartland, the battle lines are forming.

Hold onto your hat. It going to be a long, bumpy ride.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Another day in la-la-land. . .

Few of us afforded a winter vacation this year. The economy crushed our plans for Hawaii . We're not the kind of people who complain, however. The tulips were extraordinary this spring, and the tomatoes are budding early. As we say in Minnesota, things "could be worse."

The problem is, they probably will.

Like the rest of the nation, our state legislature is populated with people who don't care if government shuts down.

Although our governor has offered concessions to the far-right agenda, the men and women elected by the Ipod addicted "Dancing With the Stars" gang are running with scissors and taking us with them.

There's an election in seventeen months-
-an opportunity to change the mood of this nation.

I'm not sure Obama is brave enough, strong enough or convicted enough to raise a middle class in America.

I do know, however, that his rhetoric is pure.

I'm watching for candidates who won't leave us here; who care about this nation and the good it can achieve.

A great man once said, "the labor is great and the workers are few."

The cheap and easy way is to salute, march in file, and ignore those of us who are hurting.

More than ever, this nation belongs to the electorate.

I hope, this time, we take the election seriously, remove our ear plugs long enough to acknowledge the growing poverty of our communities.

One thing we know for certain - government will grind on, with or without us. Now is the time to make certain those who do the grinding remember who they serve.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wiener ettiquette or, Ten rules to keep Mr. Wiener under wraps

You never think it will happen to you. You're out to dinner with a colleague; a 62-year-old balding clergyman you have known for over forty years. You know his wife, you admire his children.


He's always been a little in love with you; you know this. Still, he's a consummate gentleman and you're always comfortable in his company. You're a little charmed by his hearing aids, and the way he snorts, ever so slightly, when he laughs.

Then, after three glasses of Pinot Noir, he reaches for his cell phone.

"I have something," he says, "I want to show you. A picture I took today. I get so excited when I think of you."

Yup. It happened to me.

Let me make one thing perfectly clear - I'm not the kind of woman men expose themselves to - in any shape or form.

I'm no babe.

I'm more of a dumpling than anyone's darling.

So, if this can happen to me, it can happen to anyone.

The experience made me wonder, what's wrong with these guys? Have they forgotten the basic rules of human interaction; don't show your wee-wee to anyone?

In response to this horrific interaction (which ended a forty-year friendship and devastated me for weeks), I sought out the following rules for wiener exposure. I share them with you and hope they lead to more respectful, thoughtful approaches to that critical moment, when the wiener asks to be invited to the party.

For those of you who all ready know the best ways to control your wiener, please accept this review of simple etiquette as a brief (probably necessary) refresher tutorial.


Rule #1) Don't show your wiener to the other schoolchildren. Even if you think they might be impressed.

Rule #2) Your wiener is not welcome to dinner unless it is invited. No surprise show-ups. This is especially true if your wiener is older than thirty.

Rule #3) "If you show me yours, I'll show you mine" is not funny. Not even if you offer to show yours first.

Rule #4) The power of the wiener is nothing compared to the power of the press. Never whip out your wiener to a truth-telling journalist or a prolific blogger. (Ahem)

Rule #5) Your wiener is created to be camera shy. If your wiener insists on having his picture published, it's time to have a talk with it and explain a few things. This is called "counseling." Your wiener will feel most comfortable if you accompany it into therapy. Resist your desire to video record this counseling session and post it on Facebook.

Rule #6) If you get caught showing your sixty-two-year-old wiener to anyone, it is not an acceptable excuse to say, "I only did it to show you my prostate so you'd understand why I have to pee every half hour..."

Rule #7) If your wiener had its own hands, it could take its own photo for you. But since it doesn't, it can't. Don't lie to me and tell me you don't know who took the picture unless you think I'm as stupid as your ridiculous wiener.


Rule #8) When you get caught trying to expose your wiener to a woman, tell her "Blame it on bad judgement!" She won't care - she'll still be freaked - but she'll agree. Bad, bad judgement.

Rule #10) This is the most important rule: Never let your wiener do your thinking. This is actually a sensible rule for Congressmen, husbands and every Presbyterian clergyman I've ever known, come to think of it.
Finally - if, in spite of all your best intentions, you cannot stop yourself from taking a picture of your wiener, do us all a big favor.

Keep it to yourself - or better yet, do a quick two step.

Peek once, delete.

Then, get over yourself.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Kristine Holmgren's ebook flying off the shelf! Gotta Kindle? Get this book!

I always thought that mature men would make mature mates.

I was so wrong.

After my unfortunate divorce from my indifferent and distant husband, I convinced myself my romantic life was not over.

I was, after all, only 50-years-old. My children were nearly grown; the best was still before me.

So, like so many women singled in the 20th century, I turned to the internet to meet the man of my dreams.

Okay, okay, okay - maybe my expectations were a little out-of-line.

Nonetheless, I persevered.

Years. Yes, years. Too many, truth be told.

Some of us are slow learners. It took a while for me to get real about dating after fifty.


But when I finally woke up and smelled the coffee, I decided the caffeine was no longer my beverage of choice. I decided to become a fan of cranberry/apple juice - and to walk away from the whole scene.

But before I walked, I trolled the ponds for every available fish in the sea.

My book is about my adventures in risk-taking, my courageous thrust into the world of middle aged men.

After His Heart profiles the many ways eternal hope springs in the heart, irrespective of wrinkles, increased cholesterol levels or diminished ability to navigate an automobile after dark.

More than anything, my little book is a cautionary tale to any married woman who thinks the grass is greener out here, where the single old women romp.

Got a Kindle? Get my book!

Enjoy!