It’s Memorial Day and I’d like everyone to pause at the picnic trough and thank the men and women who serve our country, as well as the families they leave behind.
Because of their sacrifices, we have the freedom to choose, among other things, to live in a house, an apartment, a double wide or a commune. We can choose to worship in a church, a temple, a mosque, our bedroom or at Denny’s while gorging on a Grand Slam. We can choose to educate our children in public school, private school or even at home, provided you can be in the same room with your kids for longer than ten minutes without giving them up for adoption. We can choose to get our news from conservative or liberal media outlets. We can wear whatever we want, no matter how low it hangs or how tight it fits or how all sorts of wrong it is. We can watch an androgynous singer paint on the guyliner and screech his lungs out all the way to second place.
And we can choose who we want to lead this country.
The next time the republicans and democrats get into a pissing match and I’m forced to yell a slew of profanities at my TV, I’m going to try to remember how fortunate I am to be able to do such a thing. Not because I’m capable of stringing expletives together that would make your ears bleed, although I have mastered that particular skill to an art form.
No, it’s because I can voice my opinion, as colorful and obscene as it may be, without fear of being hauled off and throw in jail for treason and the only thing I have to fear is my youngest rolling her eyes at the fifth graders in the back of the bus while shouting OH YEAH? MY MOM KNOWS MORE POTTY WORDS THAN YOUR MOM. SO THERE.
I may suffer panic attacks when my 401K statement comes in the mail, I may disagree with those who think it’s the government’s business to know whom we sleep with and whom we marry, I may loathe and despise those who reap unprecedented financial gain in the name of capitalism at the cost of thousands of jobs and livelihoods and I may bitterly complain about the cost of keeping my family healthy.
But it’s not lost on me how fortunate I am to live here and that it is only by virtue of the service of those men and women, some who will pay a price I cannot even fathom, that I live in a country that allows me to do all of the above and more.
So, I say THANK YOU!
And in return for making my life more enjoyable, I will share the only piece of advice I can think of at the moment which I hope will make your life much more enjoyable as well: what goes in must come out. Remember this when you decide to eat two pounds of potato salad in one sitting. Trust me on this one.