Big victory in Europe, for Harp Seals!Keep up the great work, kids.
Check out this update, below, from The Humane Association.
A few days ago, I promised to publish some e-mails from my college pal, Susan. I've not seen her in over 28 years. She found me through the internet, and I am thrilled to be back in touch with the woman who talked late into the night with me, as we curled up in our dormitory rooms. Back then, we discussed love, life. We laughed. We made plans for our futures(her--artist/photographer, me--actress).
When we had that first phone call, we talked about how many of our dreams had come true:her--art work, photography, me--acting(and writing!--a dream I did not know I had, until recently!). We talked about our frustrations--both of us have worked many different jobs, to support our ambitions for our avocations.We spoke of our disappointments, mostly in relationships. She spoke of some incredibly hurtful relationships. Relationships with men who verbally, and then physically, abused her.
How she managed to get out of two bad marriages, with damaging men, and how lonesome she was, for many years, before risking her heart with a new man. How that marriage ended when that husband suddenly abandoned her. How grateful she is to have companion animals who love her.
Susan is a hard-working, capable woman, and she is proof that one can survive anything, learn from it, and become the stronger because of it.
Here is part of her story, in her own words:
I feel like a big dummy. I've had this cell phone for 2 years at least and now it seems totally lost. It's not in any of its' usual hiding places. I had just put some minutes on it so we could have a long conversation. As I said in facebook, my scedule keeps changing at walmart. Now I don't have your phone # or anything -- it was all on my trusty phone. Darn it. I miss our talks.
Been reading your blog. Always interesting, informative and sensitive. What you said about Walmart not paying their people enough is so true. Each pay period I have to divvy out the $$$. House, water, electric, gas for car, insurance for car and food. If I get it wrong, it's a mad scramble before the next paycheck. I never completely pay on anything, I never completely fill the tank and I always look at the pantry with worry. A few times, when I was making bigger house payments to keep my home out of foreclosure, we ran out of food a few days before payday. Neighbors dropped off canned goods, bread and eggs. I ate at the Salvation Army on my days off. The new frugality is not just making your own home-made tea infusions - it's being grateful when someone puts a box of teabags in a sack they hang on your fence and being thankful that the water company would accept a half-payment so you have the water to boil and make that tea. The new frugality is not taking cooking lessons so you can cook restaurant meals at home to save money (as was highlighted on the news tonight), it is purposely walking your dog by the street-side trash bins at a local Burger King and waiting for no one to be around so you could lift the lid and see if there was some fresh partially eaten food for her. I sqatted by her as she inhaled her fries, nuggets and burger bits (hey, she likes it when we run out of food!). How far down I would have to go, I wondered, before It would be me eating this "feast?" A homeless man was on the corner, looking at us, but not looking at us in the way that gives privacy to people who live their lives on public display. I realized then that I may have just taken food he was planning for himself and fed it to my dog. I felt shame. After she slurped up the last bit, I grabbed the papers, threw them back in the trash, and hurried down the street away from the man.
There are so many people like me out there. I'm earning what I earned in 1986. I send out resumes several times a week. I network, I apply for every higher paying position that comes open at Walmart, something, anything to move up and earn more and feel like I can breathe again.
Sorry to be so verbose. Something about the way the media is hyping this "new frugality" got under my skin. Pass the word on through your blog if you feel comfortable using my words. Love you. Gotta go.
I was so moved by what Susan wrote me, I felt compelled to share it. I did, of course, get her permission to publish her letter to me, here.
She continues to write me. Please keep Susan(and all who are trying to navigate through this economic crisis) in your thoughts and prayers.