Tuesday, May 05, 2009


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.

Peace, kids.


Georg said...

Hallo Lisa,

Just finished reading the story of your friend who married three times, each one a failure.

I will never meet her so I can only guess. Making the same mistake three times in a row is a kind of exaggeration, I think. One failure that's understandable. Two failures: you ask yourself questions, you make an analysis of the reasons what went wrong. Three failures: one too much.


Lisa Allender said...

Hi Georg--Actually, I elaborated on her personal life in order to show that although her self-esteem appears very damaged, that she does not let herself give up--that she works, invests in her home, and keeps her hopes up! There's lots more to her story than merely that she's had three husbands. The responsibility for their heinous behaviors lies with these men, and these men only--not with Susan. Susan got OUT of the marriages, as soon as she realized they would not work.
Peace, man.

Sarah Sofia Ganborg said...

interesting post, no just what your friend writes, but how you care about her and I think it's so nice that you found each other again, after such a long time!

all my best wishes for her future!
love, sarah Sofia

Lisa Allender said...

Sarah Sofia Ganborg--Hello to Denmark! Thank you. Susan is easy to care about: brilliant, kind, and willing to work at a job far below her qualifications/abilities if that's what it takes to keep going!

Selma said...

Susan should be proud of not only surviving bad marriages, but of getting by in such desperate times. Good on you, Susan, you are an inspiration.

And YEEEHHAAA for the seals!!!!

Dave Dubya said...

Sometimes I almost feel ashamed to be a man when I hear these stories. We're very primative beasts inside.

But, then, SOMEONE has be a decent type. I hope she finds one.

Lisa Allender said...

Selma--Thank you for the support. I know Susan reads the blog, so I know she'll appreciate the words of encouragement!
Far as the seals go, it's a great start--the goal, though--is to end the seal hunt, entirely!
Peace, woman.
Dave Dubya--These men were pretty awful, but....
I'm with you, Dave. I think she'll find someone who will love her fully....for now, though, she's focusing on work, reponsibilities, her "furry" babies, and oh yeah--reconnecting with her old pals.(like me!) ;)

Larry said...

Very sad story of broken relationships and Walmart all of which show abuse in the home and in the workplace.

One noticable thing is she presses on. That is to be admired.

Thanks for sharing.

Sarah Sofia Ganborg said...




Brother Tim said...

A very touching story, Lisa. Unfortunately, there are millions of other stories mirroring that one.

As for the 'bad man syndrome': Having myself been married for 35 years, and not knowing all of Susan's details, makes it difficult to analyze. I have observed though, in my 60 years of living, that seperation and divorce are the product of 'a rush to marriage'. Although sometimes subtle, the signs of incompatability are almost always, without failure, manifest.

The path to true peace, is the erasion of poverty.

Peace and Grace

SarahJane said...

enjoyed that post, and how the frivolity of "the new frugality" is revealed against the backdrop of the old frugality of being plain poor.

Yoli said...

These are rough times. Wishing Susan the best.

Lisa Allender said...

Larry--Thank you for your support!
Sarah Sofia Ganborg-- THANK YOU for the honor of designating my blog a "Lovely Blog".
Brother tim--God Bless You, man, and AMEN! on poverty being erased, as the path to peace!
Sarah Jane--Thank you. Susan's words definitely make clear the suffering.
Yoli--Thank you for visiting, and for your support!

Lydia said...

I'm catching up here. Wow. Susan is having a tough time, along with so many others, and she writes about it so well. I am so grateful that she has her companion animals, and I'll pray for them to be able to stay together and weather this time...and come out of it very soon.

Lisa Allender said...

Lydia--Hi there. Thank you for the support for Susan. She has updated me, and I'll be posting her (encouraging) news, soon.