Well This is Interesting.

My blog is blowing up. I mean it, it is exploding with views, and I have absolutely no idea why.

This is, sadly, a very beloved, but a neglected blog. I started it, I think, in 2007. I had no idea what I was doing. I wasn’t really sure what a blog was. I just knew it might be cool to write one, have millions of readers, retire early, and while away my time on my private island. No, seriously. I thought it would be fun to write about things that interested me, and see if anyone was interested in reading them.

The first year was pretty dismal. I don’t think I had a single follower. Probably because I had no idea how to tag, share, or drum up any interest. Then I started following other bloggers on WordPress, and by the second year I was busy and happy with the forum.

On the scale of bloggers though, I was small fry. At my very best, I had 100 views on days that I posted. I got about 25-30 on the off days. Most of my traffic was due to my friendship with uber bloggers-people who naturally drummed up a lot of interest in their writing. I often wondered why that worked for them, and how come I wasn’t hitting the mark. I took it personally when my favorites: The Wonders of Mens Underwear, 4th of July on the Esplanade, and Happy New Year! L Street Brownie Style got only the usual amount of views. I felt slighted that the Boston Globe ignored End of the Season, End of an Era and Thanks for some of the memories, Nomar. I had a couple of really great posts as a guest blogger on another site that got a lot of attention, but that was because it was I was writing for a major blogger, The Idiot.

Then I had a post make “Freshly Pressed”. If you are unfamiliar with WordPress, let me tell you, that is the golden ticket. I went from about 100 views for a new post to over 3,000. It was incredible, and so much fun. I loved the post, Awkward! Awkward! and having it make the “Freshly Pressed” podium was an incredible honor, and likely one of the best experiences as a blogger.

I was writing quite a bit after my fifteen minutes of glory, enjoying a larger following, and keeping up with other much more successful bloggers. Then I started to fade. My writing stalled, I felt fake and superficial on posts I tried to make amusing. I felt like I was overbearing and insufferable on topics I cared about. The whole idea and platform of blogging just left me.

But I didn’t want to abandon my blog. I love it. It is my voice, who I am over the years. It chronicles things I cared about, and although it is neglected, I can’t really abandon it altogether. It has the things I care most about here, here, and here. And especially here.

I blog about six times a year. On tired subjects: Christmas. Starbucks. Bees. Dogs and family. Bikes. Baseball. The little I have to say these days keeps coming around. I keep doing it because this blog matters to me. But I have stopped checking the number of daily views–it has been 0 to 5 for months. A few years ago, that would bother me. I’d think, “What does it take to get people to read what I write?”Now I’m happy if people want to read it, but it doesn’t bother me if they don’t.

Imagine my surprise when I got a strange ding on my computer with this notification: Your stats are booming! Of bees, baseball, bicycles…and other things is getting a lot of traffic. That was on Sunday. I got 76 views. Saturday I had two. Friday I had zero. Then Monday came, with a bunch of dings informing me I had booming stats and a total of 1,101 views. Weird! My last post was December 28th. About the Hamburgler. It got about 15 views, and it was definitely not my best.

I looked at what was feeding these views, and all I could find was that the majority of was from Facebook. It was strange. I have less than 300 friends, so how on earth is that happening? And almost every view is clicking on a post from 2014, The Whistler? I can’t understand it. A post about a legend in Central Massachusetts in the 1970s-1980s has now gotten up to, at this time today, 2,583 views.

There are very few comments or likes, so I think this post somehow ended up on a social media feed that gets clicked on, then clicks off. I am sure I’ll find out.

So there it is. Another fifteen minutes of glory, with hopefully, no fall out, nasty comments, trollers, or snark. Of all the things I’ve written, I think The Whistler was the last piece I ever thought would make an impact. It was a personal observation, a blast from my past, and although it was clear to me, when I read about this guy, that he made a big impact, I never thought what I had to say about him would cause any ripple.


Bicycle Girl





Posted in blogging, Blogroll, Boston, Boston Red Sox, Celebrations, christmas, essay, humor, internet, Observations, Obsessions, society, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Could 2016 be the Year of the New Hamburgler?

Oh, McDonald’s! Just when I think you’ve given up on your advertising campaign (has it been 10 or 12 years of I’m Lovin’ It!?) you turn us all completely on our heads with your new ad campaign.

Screen Shot 2015-12-27 at 12.51.05 PM.png

Hello! Here’s the New Hamburgler!

The Hamburgler! Remember him? If you’re anywhere between the age of 0 and 30, I am sure you don’t. The Hamburgler was a member of Ronald McDonald’s creepy squad of quasi puppet/human creatures that showed up on the Saturday morning commercials. I think the following picture is the original crew, although when I googled it, there was a character named Early Birdie who is missing from this picture.


Mayor McCheese, Ronald McDonald, Grimmace, Officer Big Mac        Captain Crook, Hamburgler, Professor and some fry goblins

Now keep in mind that this was a 1970’s ad campaign, very likely in response to public television’s wildly popular muppets on Sesame Street. McDonald’s ad wonks saw how much little kids loved Kermit, Ernie & Bert and Big Bird, and made the logical move to attach french fries, shakes, hamburgers and soda to a crew of odd, slightly scary, and in absolutely no way endearing side-kicks to the already creepy clown, Ronald McDonald.

I was in elementary school, a little too old for Sesame Street, so when the cavalcade of slightly off, sickly sweet McDonaldland creature commercials started sucking up more TV time than the cartoons we watched, I took my parents advice and went outside. To do things like break bottles in the street, throw rocks and parked school busses, but that’s beside the point.

I do not actually know the impact these McMuppets had on a generations of kids but I’m willing to bet it wasn’t the characters that got kids into eating the fast food regularly. It was the play areas, McKids meals and cheap-cheap-cheap prices that got parents to take their kids to McDonalds.

I mean honestly, the first Ronald McDonald was a horror!  And the clown…let me repeat that THE CLOWN he is today is still horrifying.

Screen Shot 2015-12-27 at 1.00.12 PM.png

Oh my God! Nightmares for life from both THEN & NOW.

I have no idea why McDonald’s decided to roll out the Hamburgler. I am guessing that their “healthy” trend, food truck imagy chicken, and all-day breakfast isn’t gaining back any of the market share they are losing to local, organic, small market feel fast food places, so they are going back in for the kids. With this guy?

Screen Shot 2015-12-27 at 12.50.38 PM.png

New Hamburgler. Did he steal a hamburger from 5 Guys?

Now, the first thing the McDonald’s suits need to do is fire their ad team. How is the new Hamburgler in any way endearing to an adult who might let their kid eat what he’s selling? Trench coat! Mask! The whole Let’s keep this a secret! message. Holy Mother of God, I am relieved I don’t have little kids, and if I did, this guy would be my example of stranger danger!

Screen Shot 2015-12-27 at 12.49.57 PM.png

Yeah, that’s going to get me to buy a hamburger for my kid.

This smacks of a last grasp at the public by an aging conglomerate whose best days are behind it. Competition, higher labor costs, the emergence of fast-casual over fast-food, and a global trend (Europe makes up 1/3 of McDonald’s sales) away from hamburgers due to the greater world focus on global health.

Millenials, the population born between 1982 and 2004, and makes up 1/4th of the world’s buying power, many of them raised on Happy Meals, are turning away from McDonald’s for a multitude of reasons: kale, mason jars, packaging that looks like artwork, fermented food, chill surroundings, hand-made, custom dishes, small plates, and sriracha. And no, McHoney-sriracha doesn’t quite cut it. And neither will the new Hamburgler.


Posted in blogging, essay, family, Millenials, Observations, Obsessions, parenthood, society, trends, fast food, McDonald's, writing | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Solstice Shenanigans

What a interesting start to winter here in the northeast! The temperature is in the mid fifties before noon on the first full day of winter and I have to tell you, things are a little crazy with this unusual weather.

I honestly wouldn’t be surprised to find a few upright citizens acting like this, given what I have encountered…

Screen Shot 2015-12-22 at 10.23.42 AM.png

Unexpected warm temperatures invoke delerious celebration!

Now, from this point on, you will have to suspend your scepticsm and try to believe that what I relay to you is the truth. The only reason I can think of to explain the incredible events that I am going to recount is the unusually warm weather in a region when most inhabitants are ready to hunker down, pile on 10 pounds and hibernate until the bikini edition of fashion and sports magazines hit the stands.

I have the day off and I was straightening up for the house for Christmas Eve. Everything looks decorated.


Mantle is ready for the season.

When I noticed something a little different…


This is new.

So I took a closer look.


Holy moly! It’s a caravan of naked people among my Christmas crap!

What? What! WHAT?! It’s a naked invasion! Among the Christmas decorations…oh the humanity!

I wasted no time, drastic measures were call for. And I had no choice but to bring in the Army.


Captain Plastic! Help me mobilize the naked caravan!

Plastic army to the rescue. Mission Naked Caravan Relocation. Send them back to Whale Rock, the nude beach at Lake Tahoe (lovely spot but lots of naked people).

Screen Shot 2015-12-22 at 10.42.58 AM

Sunbathers at Whale Rock, Lake Tahoe

The plastic army men are always up for a mission.


Troops are mobilized! Back to Lake Tahoe’s East Shore!


And off they go with their usual enthusiasm. I can always count on the green plastic army men.

Feeling as though the situation was now under control and the Christmas mantle could regain a G rating stays, I started making a cup of herbal tea…my nerves were utterly shattered.

When I noticed some rather interesting maneuver formantion of the part of the green plastic army.


Erm, Captain? Sargent? Is this a new formation?


Front line infantry…why are you on your head?


Do my eyes deceive me, or are you soldiers doing…Yoga?


No! Now is not the time of a resting pose! Get those naked caravan interlopers back to Tahoe!


Your poses are perfect, but this does not remedy the situation, soldiers!

Then the miracle of the season dawned upon me. Peace on Earth, good will to all. Even to the Naked Caravan on the mantle.



Happy Christmas, Naked Caravan People, enjoy the mantle.

Posted in blogging, cautionary tales, Celebrations, christmas, humor, Observations, Obsessions, photography, politically incorrect, society, winter | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Winter Riding

It has been warm and snowless up here in Massachusetts. I am not complaining, the weather has been perfect for winter riding. If you don’t mind riding without snow or freezing temperatures. After last winter, this is something I don’t mind a bit.


Lovely view from Forest River Park

I have been biking as much as I can because I am still shell shocked from the seven feet of snow we got last winter.

Fortunately, the weather has been warm and beautiful. It doesn’t even feel like winter. So thank goodness for all the local businesses that are providing the festive mood.


Santa’s sleigh in store window


Festive holiday window


Glamorous party attire 

The local museum has joined the holiday scene.


Wreath on the Anchor at the PEM


Lanterns glow red in the PEM garden

It isn’t just the holiday decorations that give me a sense of the winter solstice. Despite the warm weather, the angle of the sunlight and the brief length of daylight accord the feeling of quiet comfort, peace and the perception that the year is winding down.


Sunset on the road


Late afternoon light in the park

I am quite grateful that this time of year it is something I can enjoy on my bike.

Posted in Bianchi, Bicycles, bicycling, blogging, christmas, photography, photos, winter, writing | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

What Happened, Santa?

I’m old, therefore, my image of Santa Claus is this:

Merry Christmas, ho, ho, ho!

I think anyone over 50 who celebrates Christmas is in agreement.

So  I guess I have to wonder, What Fresh Hell Is This?

A whole new idea of Santa? Isn’t that creepy spying elf enough of an interloper on my traditional Christmas?

Hipster Santa? With a ginger beard? Holy smoke, what have we come to?

God Almighty, he walks around in daylight with a smart phone and a chai latte. Sorry kids, you got a second rate Santa if this is what you think might be coming down your chimney on Christmas Eve.

I don’t know, he reminds me more of this guy, than Santa.

Cornelius! From Rudolf the Rednose Reindeer!

But, no, this is a whole new generation, and this is now what’s going on:

That’s right, today’s Santa has serious diet regimes. What the hell, kid? You gonna harsh up Hipster Santa’s intestines with non vegan, poisonous white flour and hormone laden milk? Sheeeeeee-yat!

Wait a second! He’s not going to funk up his precious lungs with toxic creosote dust either! He’s probably going waltz in your sister’s window because she swiped right on his super cool tinder profile. Uh…was he supposed to bring gifts, or is this Netflix and chill?

If this hipster Santa wasn’t rough enough, don’t fret, there is competition. He’s lean, he’s sharp, and he appears to be more into how he’s looking as he makes the  Yule scene, instead of focusing on magically delivering toys to millions and millions of little kids all over the world in one night. I guess it is a daunting task, so hey. He’s gonna focus on style over substance, right?

Meet Fashion Santa… Well, hells bells, who the f#%! are you and what are you doing in my living room? And why on earth are you wearing a belt over a blazer?

There actually is an honest-to-goodness real mall Hipster Santa. In Portland, Oregon, of course. He talks with little kids about being good, giving back, kumbacha tea and saving the planet. He doesn’t seem bad, he actually looks quite jolly on that giant green seat. It’s just that he’s got … a man bun.


Oh, Santa. Is this what you’ve become? Well, okay, I am an adult. My era is done. It’s time for Hipster Santa. Sorry kids.

Just remember, if you’re really not into it, you can always try to invoke Krampus.


Krampus, the Evil Christmas Elf, beats kids who don’t behave.


Posted in blogging, cautionary tales, christmas, conspiracy, drama, essay, family, humor, Men's Fashion, Observations, Obsessions, society, winter | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Today, December 4th, is a National Something Day.

Well what do you know, every day is a national day of some sort. 

Take today, December 4th. Most people might have it marked as a count down day to Hanukkah, Christmas, or the New Year. 

But no,December 4th is a day of several celebrations!

Today is National Dice Day! 

Happy National Dice Day!

No snake eyes for you today!

It is also  

Celebrate brown shoes? Well…OK

 Wear Brown Shoes Day. I don’t know if that’s really something to celebrate. 

Anyway, there’s also

 National Cookie Day! December 4th! Have a cookie!

Not looking for the extra calories because you have no good place to pack them? Cover it all up with faux fur! You got that right!

Happy Wear Faux Fur Day!!!!!


So faux fur fierce!

 Now things are going to get really awesome…because it’s also…wait for it…


National Sweater Vest Day! Wear them loud and wear them proud on December 4th! Woooooo hoooooooooooo!

As if things couldn’t get any more exciting, and I hope you can handle it. This very day is also National Kitten Day!


Hurray kittens! This is your day!

  Although I do have to say, every day is kitten day as long as they’re kittens. Then you’ve got a cat. No more celebration there, right?

The bigger they get, the cuter they aren’t

All right friends, I saved the best national celebration of today, December 4th, for last. 

Prepare yourselves for


National Work Group Celebration Day!

OMG! I can’t contain the crazy energy of this amazing day! Hope you all celebrated in safe and responsible way. 

Go Work Groups! 

Posted in blogging, Celebrations, humor, internet, Observations, Obsessions, society | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I’ll Have an Extra Smarmy Venti with Two Pumps of Who The F*ck Cares

I can’t be the only one around who had no clue about the mega over-priced, crappy coffee chain red cups until my newsfeed and twitter informed me EVERYONE IS OUTRAGED OVER THE STARBUCKS RED CUP CONTROVERSY

Are we? We are? Really? I honestly felt like an 87 year-old auntie who fell asleep at the Thanksgiving table and woke up in the middle of a conversation I knew absolutely nothing about. I am all like, “What?” “Who?” “What the hell are we talking about?”

They all end up in the garbage heap

Who else doesn’t go here because you actually become homicidal if you have to order something in their made up lingo?

Oh, wait, I get it! Starbucks is doing its drama shitstorm!

It’s been a while since Race Together Campaign. That was the one where customers were given directives to talk about race instead of being allowed to just enjoy their overpriced coffee drink while discussing or thinking about things of their choosing.


That promotion, or rather, phase one of that promotion ended less than a week after it began due to the deluge of derision blasted at CEO Howard Schultz. Evidently, people paying for sugar-laden, overpriced fatty concoctions with coffee in there somewhere don’t like to have “opportunities to…re-examine how a more empathetic and inclusive society-one conversation at a time” foisted upon them.

It was like, “Okay, we’ll pay double for burnt coffee, endure the condescending attitude of your baristas, subject our ears to drippy music, and try to pull off the whole Friends vibe in your Third Space, but we draw the line at you scripting our thoughts and conversations.

Then there was the organic (hey, who else hates that term?) Pay It Forward Campaign. Remember that? August 2014: The Drive-thru set was offered the opportunity to pay for a drink for the driver of the car behind him or her. Aside from the dislexic name-the direction of the payment was actually going behind the person paying, it likely stiffed the sap who payed for a $7 chocolatte and only got a short black…God, no wonder they want us to talk about race if you have to order something that sounds like that. Anyway, that campaign drama ended at car number 378 when blogger Peter Schorsche deliberately joined the conga-line of love and caffeine to break it up because he felt people were participating out of guilt instead of generosity.

Personally, I believe those participating were in Drive-thru because they were wearing something more even unspeakable than giant plaid pajama bottoms, a NorthFace fleece and Uggs, and they were too ashamed to stand in line. 

Drive thru line was too long

Eff that! Drive thru line was too long and I need my tall vanilla frappe with whipped cream and caramel drizzle now.

After scrolling through about 734 tweets and posts from people who really don’t give a shit about what the hell Starbucks puts on their damn cups, it dawned on me that Starbucks is actually a mega corporation embodiment of that stupid drama-douche you know so well.

You know you know who I’m talking about, right? Eveyone had or now has at least one of those people–either in real life, or on-line. He or she is the one who deliberately sucks the limelight away from whomever might be deservedly basking in it for a fraction of a second too long. The person who harshes your good news about your life, your work, your love, your whatever by either 1. topping your story with a much better story or 2. bringing you down with tragedy. That special someone who pops up on Facebook with a random, mysterious reference about being outraged, pissed off, sad, worried, whatever… but won’t answer the eighty-seven people who ask “What’s going on?” Yes, THAT ONE.

Hey! I'm planning a big melt down at your birthday party!

Hey! I’m planning a big melt down at your birthday party!

Starbucks has always been the mega corporation of THAT ONE. Totally pretentious, PC thuggish, in possession of a bloated sense of self-worth, unabashedly self-promoting while trying to project the image that it is unique, concerned, involved, ironic, decidedly high-minded, entitled-to-speak-for-all because-it-is-so-incredibly-awesome-and we-need-to-just-know-that.

Don’t believe me? Just order a large coffee. That very atrocity against Starbucks (also known as an AAS) will earn you looks of such withering contempt that shame will cause your mouth to fill with bitter bile which disguises their burnt garbage flavored coffee. Honestly, what the hell is venti anyway? It kind of sounds Italian for window or twenty. And then comes tall? Grande? Pretty sure trenta is their biggest size but it’s something I’d never consider because I’m saving for another bike.

The Starbucks Red Cup campaign was designed to be about Starbucks. Not to get you to think of the meaning of Christmas, or the loss of the meaning of Christmas, or anything else that has to do with anything. That’s it! That’s all there is to it. Except, here’s the newsflash:

How dare we pull the limelight off things like grande iced sugar free lattes with soy milk to be nostalgic for seasonal images like snow flakes, candy canes and Joy? Because for me, in these times that we can come together on so very little, the things like snowflakes, candy canes and Joy are a lot nicer than a steaming cup of drama.

Don't forget the reason for the season...Venti Chestnut Praline Latte, extra foam for Jeebus

Don’t forget the reason for the season…Venti Chestnut Praline Latte, extra foam for Jeebus

Posted in blogging, cautionary tales, drama, red cups, society, starbucks, who cares, writing | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tiny Bikes Go Magical Places

Well, everyone could have predicted this, but here it is anyway:

I finally got my grubby hands on a Brompton bicycle!

Yes, it was at great personal sacrifice to my bike fleet. A couple of dear favorites ended up on the block in order to make this happen. It wasn’t easy, but I’m trying to be realistic. Honestly, how many bikes do,I really need? Wait, don’t answer that because the answer is ALWAYS N+1.

But I’m trying to realistic here. And not leave my husband with a hoarders supply of bikes, bike parts, and other identifiable bike junk if I pre decease him, so my new bike rule is: If one comes in, one must go out. It’s kept my bike acquisition mania better controlled in the past few years.

This rule doesn’t, however, stop me from spending a lot of time searching for perfect bikes, dream bikes, bikes that would make the N+1 rule something that wouldn’t apply to me. Ha ha haaaaa. Yeah, right.

I won’t go into what I am searching for these days because it’s ridiculous ($$$$$$) and I am not that kind of cyclist (Eddy Merckx-oh my gaaaaaaaawwwwwd!)


I won’t admit how much of my productive day I waste on you you, Eddy

But there has been a bike that was haunting me. My folding bike. 

Vintage Bianchi Nealeco Folding Bicycle
It was a good looking little bike but in poor shape, with many critical broken parts and it weighed about 400 pounds. It made sense to sell it to someone who was willing to take all that on. 

A few years later, a bit more downsizing-without regrets, and honestly, I’m pretty happy with what I have. Except I miss the folding bike. I really believe if it was in good shape, it would have been ridden often, probably would have been my commuter bike. 

I’m a certain age. I’m not getting any younger. There will be a time-hopefully in the far far future-when I won’t be able to ride. With that logic, I bit the bullet and sold two more bikes. It was hard and I really felt regret. Until today. When I went for an evening bike ride on my new bike. My husband took the bad-ass picture of me riding. I know it looks tiny and a little silly, but this bike is so unbelievably fun and fast and comfortable that I do not care. 

My brother commented that it looks like I wasn’t getting too far on my tiny bike, to which I answered, “Tiny bikes go magical places.”


Posted in Bianchi, Bicycles, bicycling, blogging, Brompton, Observations, Obsessions | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bianchi Mini Velo Bicycle

I have a new obsession.



This is a Bianchi Mini Velo. They are smaller than regular road bikes but have the same ergonomic geometry to feel almost similar to a full sized road bike.

The purpose of these bikes are to save room, easier portability and storage when you are not riding.



You know, I have no idea how I happened upon this bicycle…I think I was looking at folding bikes and this caught my eye.

Must have this...

Must have this…

Now I can’t think of anything else. You see, I had a folding bike but sold it because the whole folding/opening/weight/wear&tear on the bike made it less useful in its functionality for me. But I miss my folding bike. And now have a reason to ride a smaller bike/folding bike to work.

I will not sleep until you are mine.

I will not sleep until you are mine.

And now, nothing will do until I can find a Bianchi Mini Velo. Sadly, they are mainly sold in Japan, where space is obviously at a premium.

Thus begins my campaign to bring these beautiful bicycles to America.

Posted in Bianchi, Bicycles, Mini Velo, Observations, Obsessions, writing | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Kim Davis is NOT like Pope Francis

I have been openly irreverent and disrespectful regarding Pope Francis’s “secret meeting” with Kim Davis. It fosters the impression that I give the meeting as much consideration as it takes to flick from one website to another to find the latest, most interesting topic of the moment. That perception is wrong.

It offends me deeply that there was a meeting between Pope Francis and Kim Davis. This Pope, on his first visit to America, brought hope, inspiration, compassion, humility and humanity to the Roman Catholic church, to its following and to millions who have had nothing but contempt and criticism for how the Church has conducted its affairs in the past.

I am a Roman Catholic. I was raised following the precepts of the church and was able to follow them until I reached young adulthood. I am no longer a practicing Catholic because parts of the life I live now is in conflict with the teachings of the church. I feel sorrow and loss because of this, but I can not reconcile how I live and the people who are most important to me with what is asked of me in order to fully observe.

Let me be clear: I have no anger or resentment toward the church, I have deep faith due to how I was raised, and I have no regret that I was raised as Catholic.  I respect and love my parents, my family, my friends who are devout. I love that I can attend mass anywhere in the world and I would know what was happening during the service. It gives me great comfort.

Pope Francis has, from the start of his leadership, taken the church in a more open, compassionate and inclusive direction. The highlights of his priorities of his papacy are caring for the poor, caring for the planet, world peace and creating a church that is more welcoming to those who have felt abandoned, disillusioned, disenfranchised. As the world Catholic leader, he has begun to change the perception of the Catholic church from closed, greedy, limited, damaging, and an institution that protects child molesters while turning its back on millions of people it damaged. That is a huge accomplishment.

Pope Francis has not changed any of the laws of the church. It is still operates under the same precepts that stood for centuries before he stepped in. This isn’t a tutorial on Catholicism, so feel free to google it now if you need more information.

What I am writing about here is my outrage that the final note of his visit to America is filled with this “secret” meeting with the loathsome Kim Davis. The story is still evolving, and probably will for days, and we may never fully know the details of how the meeting happened, who arranged it, how long she was with him and what was really said. Both camps are changing the details and circumstances with each report of what happened.

This meeting, however it happened, galls me because it tainted the messages of his visit: care for the poor, care for the planet, world peace. There were dialogues regarding punishment of the abusers and molesters, of truly giving voice to the victims of rape and abuse, and of providing more humane and rehabilitative  treatment of prisoners. There was no dialogue, despite great hope, despite Pope Francis responding, “Who am I to judge?” when asked about homosexuality, about recognizing gay marriage in the Catholic Church. Therefore, Pope Francis’s meeting with Kim Davis appears to be the blanket statement. If he did tell her to “stay strong”, there’s the stance.

Here are a few more things that gall me about Kim Davis meeting Pope Francis: she is divisive. She is mean. She has a position of power and wielded that power to deny American citizens a fundamental right according to her personal religious belief. She works as a county clerk in Rowan County, Kentucky and she decided, based on her religious beliefs, that she can’t issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Her stance directly conflicted with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the landmark case of Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U.S. (2015), holding that the fundamental right to marry is guaranteed to same-sex couples by both the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution . Ms. Davis spent 5 days in jail because of her defiance of the law due to her belief that gay marriage is against her religion.

Say what you will about how she stands by her faith, but here is the bottom line: she works in a government job and gets paid in federal tax dollars, which, to my knowledge and after a lot of searching, it doesn’t appear she refused to pocket any of her pay checks. If her faith guides her and rules her actions, than she should step down from her position. Instead, she used her position of power to deny a civil right bestowed on all Americans: the right to marry.

I think it is a travesty that she got the media attention she did. I think she should have been moved to a different position, or fired because she would not do her job, and the only thing you hear when anyone says her name is the sound of crickets chirping.

I do not think she should be punished for her beliefs. She has every right to believe what she wants, as strongly as she wants, with as much fervor as she can muster, but there’s no way on earth I believe she should impose her faith to deny anyone who seeks to rightfully marry in the United States of America. This is who we are, this is the country we live in, with all the freedom, rights, and liberties it entails.

It’s been over two days since this story broke. Details differ between the church and the Davis camp with each clarification of the meeting. In looking back on his visit, the thing that surprises almost as much a the actual meeting is that it took so long to surface. I mean, Pope Francis had media coverage of every single moment he was here! How did no one carrying a camera not see her 15 minutes of Pope audience? And I’d like to point out that Ms. Davis is notoriously recognizable. She’s also not exactly a package of peanuts either–not like she could slip into under the coffee cart to get close to the Pope unnoticed. There are serious gaps in the details (and you know who lives there, right?) and I don’t think we’re going to get much of the truth from either side.

The arc of Pope Francis’s time as the leader of the Catholic church will be, I hope and pray,  for years.  I don’t have any expectations that the sacrament of marriage will change under his leadership but I do hope that he will continue to reach out to the poor, the marginalized, the suffering, the victims.

I also hope Kim Davis falls off the face of the earth–or at lease the media map. Her fifteen minutes, however she spent them, are up. I’ve seen enough of her and all she stands for, thank you.

Posted in essay, gay marriage, Kim Davis, Observations, Pope Francis, religious rights, writing | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments