You Can Say Something Sucks Now

I’m showing my age. Once upon a time the word “suck” was shorthand for something you weren’t to say in polite society.

In my high school and college days, I was very much into folk music. I subscribed to Sing Out! Magazine, must-reading for folkies back then. There were many folk music album reviews.

In October 1966, Simon and Garfunkel released their brilliant album, Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme. Not really a folk album, but for some reason it was reviewed in Sing Out! I thought the review sucked, and decided to write a letter to Sing Out! saying so. I considered myself rather a social rebel at that time, but being shy, I rebelled mostly in writing.

The letter was short and to the point. I don’t remember the reviewer’s name now, so I can’t quote the letter exactly. Here it is.

     Dear Sing Out!

Your review of  Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme sucks. Perhaps Mr. (reviewer} just doesn’t understand poetry?

Well, they published the letter. But it read, in publication:

     Your review of Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme . . . .  Perhaps Mr. (reviewer) just doesn’t understand poetry?

Such language delicacy wouldn’t happen now. People say something sucks all the time. I still say it sometimes. People say “fuck” all the time now, too. I say it sometimes, but only with people I know won’t be offended. I don’t consider “suck” and “fuck” my always go-to words, as many people seem to these days. Those words are meant to have shock value, and I think they just get boring when they’re used all the time.

Well, times change. As I said, I’m showing my age.

Thank you for reading my blog.

Marjorie Beck

 

An Email to Jeff Sessions

I said in an earlier post I would stay away from politics. But there’s always an exception.

Here is the text of an email I sent today to AG Jeff Sessions on the DOJ website:

How dare you use Romans 13 to justify the racist, immoral, inhumane separating of families at the southern border. I would expect such from Trump, a sociopathic narcissist who cares only for himself.

You call yourself a Christian.

Well, here’s another Bible verse for you.

Matthew 19:14, But Jesus said, suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

Put that in your Christian pipe and smoke it, you scrofulous little racist.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flawless Documents

I have not posted for a while because I have been setting up my new business, Flawless Documents Proofreading and Editing. I invite you to visit my website, http://www.flawlessdocs.com, if you would like to learn more.  I serve clients in the Eugene-Springfield, Oregon area and online nationwide.

Here is one of my local business ads:

Flawless Documents Proofreading and Editing

Marjorie Beck, Eugene, Oregon

I help you create Flawless Documents: Letters, Manuscripts, Term Papers, College Application Essays, Resumes, Dissertations, Family Histories, Memoirs, Whatever. I love to work with your words.
I can work with online text editors, old fashioned typewriting, handwriting. (I taught 7th and 9th grade English classes; I can read just about anybody’s handwriting.)
I am a meticulous proofreader and editor. At minimum, I will guarantee your document is free from grammar, punctuation, spelling, and word use errors. If you feel your writing needs a little more help, I will edit as much or as little as you want. I enjoy helping non-native English speakers with their writing.
I charge $20/hr, with a minimum of $20, and a 20% first-time discount for new clients. For really long documents, I will negotiate a maximum charge. I guarantee my work. If you don’t like my editing, you don’t pay.
Call 541-913-1370 or email marjoriebeck@flawlessdocuments.net to tell me how I can help you with your writing. I also invite you to visit my website, http://www.flawlessdocs.com.
Thanks for reading my blog. 
Marjorie Beck

 

My Three-Legged Stool

My depression is one leg of a three-legged stool. The second leg is shyness and anxiety, and the third is introversion.  Depression, shyness, and anxiety are disabilities to be managed. Introversion is not a disability; it is an innate part of  who I am and is to be understood and embraced.

Today’s post is about shyness and anxiety.

Growing up I was morbidly shy and anxious.

How shy and anxious were you?

 I was so shy . . .

When I was a Camp Fire Girl in Seminole, Oklahoma and it came to time to go door to door selling candy, I would stand on the front porch and pretend to ring the doorbell, wait a few seconds, and leave.

Later, in Norman, Oklahoma my mother gave me a coupon from a beauty salon that offered a shampoo, haircut, and coloring all for $20. Quite a bargain, and money was tight for us in those days.

At the salon, the stylist gave me the shampoo and coloring but not the cut, and I was too shy to ask why no cut. When the shop then charged me $60 instead of $20, I meekly paid the $60 and was too shy to say I was supposed to get a discount. My mother had a hissy fit when I got home, because it was her $60.

When I was in a store looking for something, I would scour the store aisle by aisle rather than ask a clerk for help. If a clerk did ask, I would say “I’m just looking, thanks.” Anything to avoid talking to a stranger.

In a room full of strangers I would stand in a corner and hope not to be noticed.

I was so anxious. . .

I would lie rather than admit I’d made a mistake,

or done something bad,

or didn’t know something,

or couldn’t do something.

I feared I would appear bad or ridiculous or inadequate,

and quite likely provoke my mother’s wrath.

Hooray for Paxil!

When I started taking medication for depression in 1997, my doctor prescribed Paxil, which was developed initially for social anxiety, and later prescribed for depression. It proved a lucky choice for me.

A reaction many people have when they start depression medication is “I’m the me I always wanted to be!”

And so it was for me.

In addition to working on my depression, Paxil started eliminating my social anxiety. This was an effect I had not anticipated, and it surprised and delighted me.

I started asking for help in stores. I started cheerfully admitting  it when I didn’t know something or had done something wrong. I even sometimes made small talk with strangers. An amazing transformation.

Being who I always knew I could be is so much fun.

So that’s the second leg of my three-legged stool. My shyness and anxiety reinforced my depression in lethal ways. Now my shyness and anxiety and depression still show themselves from time to time; they are, after all, thought to be at least partly genetic. Medication alone doesn’t fix everything.

But for me medication plays a big part in the way I can now manage these two legs of  my three-legged stool. And, as Martha Stewart would say, that’s a good thing.

Still to come: The introversion leg of my stool. Stay tuned.

Thanks for reading my blog.

Marjorie Beck

Twitter, Hatefulness, and Karma

In this internet age of instant communication, it seems everyone from individuals to politicians to news organizations uses Twitter now.  I wish Twitter  had never been invented. Sometimes I wish the internet had never been invented.

No, not really. I think the internet is a marvelous addition to our lives with benefits too many to enumerate. I use it daily. Yet it is also an agent for great harm, such as identity theft and election tampering, to name just two.

My greatest beef with Twitter is that it too often brings out not the better angels of our nature, but the worst. It is easy to spew venom at the world while masking your identity behind an anonymous handle. It’s a safe way to say hateful things you don’t have the courage to say otherwise. I wish all social media sites required posters to use their real names. Maybe it would promote a little more civility in online discourse, which would be a very, very good thing.

Of course, some people do say hateful things on Twitter using their real names. I feel sorry for them. I think they must hate themselves a little bit to lash out so hatefully at others. I think they are building pretty bad karma for themselves.

In closing, I wish you good karma and civility in all your interactions. May you always remember what goes around, comes around.

Thank you for reading my blog.

Marjorie Beck

Politics

When I introduced my blog I said politics was one the topics I might be writing about. Well, I mostly  lied. I think the current political climate in our nation is too toxic and painful to write about. I would like to offer more positive posts. I will, however, write about our  political history from time to time, a topic I find intensely interesting .

     History does not repeat itself, but it does rhyme.

This adage has been popularly attributed to Mark Twain,  but there  is little evidence he actually said it. Whoever said it, it is very, very true.

Thank you for reading my blog.

Marjorie Beck

 

 

What’s With That Blog Title?

It’s time for a little something about depression. There are lots of ways to be depressed, beside the one most people think of, feeling sad and hopeless all the time. Feeling sad and hopeless all the time is what drove me to see my doctor in 1997, when I got my depression diagnosis. But it was only one of many other ways depression had me in its grip, and to explain more about that I need to start with my blog title, Wish I Could Have Been There.

It comes from the song I Wish I Could Have Been There, by John Anderson, one of my favorite country singers. The song tells of a man reflecting on all the times his occupation (country singer on the road maybe?) pulls him away from his wife and children and all the important family events he has missed. The song came to have profound meaning for me after my depression diagnosis. It explained something about my high school reunions that always left me baffled and disturbed.

I attended University High School in Norman, Oklahoma, a small, private laboratory school for the College of Education at Oklahoma University. I was one of seventeen in the graduating class of 1962  At one time many universities operated these laboratory schools; they were supposed to be a site for experiments and innovation in education. Many of these schools have been disbanded now, which is a shame, because my classmates and I thought we received an outstanding education at UHS.

Being a laboratory school for the university, UHS attracted a lot of professors’ kids, and the nerd quotient was pretty high. I was not a nerd. My family moved to Norman from Seminole, Oklahoma, in 1957 when my mother accepted an invitation to teach first grade at University School. I entered the 8th grade there. By the next year I was a cheerleader, and head cheerleader in my senior year; in my junior year I was homecoming queen. All through high school I ran with the really cool kids. I was very popular.

But later when I went to class reunions, other classmates would recall with laughter incidents involving me that I had no memory of at all. I laughed as if I too remembered the incident, but inside I was baffled and wondering how their memories could be so different from mine.

After I was diagnosed with depression and learned more about the illness, it made sense.

Depression runs in both sides of my family. After my diagnosis in 1997 at the age of 53, I recognized I had had depression most of my life. It started manifesting subtly in my early childhood and grew as I got older. I had lots of friends, I was popular, I had a successful career, yet often I was miserable inside.  And one of the things about depression is that when you’re in it and feeling especially down, you are focusing on yourself and your own feelings, not on the people around you. Thus I may have been physically there with my classmates, yet far, far away emotionally. This emotional absence has been true for me much of my life. Thus the title of my blog, Wish I Could Have Been There. There’s lots more to tell about how depression has shaped my life, but that’s for later.

Thanks for reading my blog.

Marjorie Beck