Native Writes: Entering 2018 as an old woman

When I was 18, I couldn’t imagine going into the year 2018 or 2000, for that matter. I couldn't believe I would even become aged -- never trust anyone over 30.

Y2K didn’t really bother me one way or another. I didn’t stockpile non-perishables as a hedge against the end of the world. My late husband did and I just recently used the last pasta.

My grandkids were born at the turn of this century, an event my grandfather also referred to as having happened in his lifetime – he passed away at age 95.

What have I learned since my teens?

Humor isn’t what it once was. It usually has a bite and often is aimed at someone else.

I learned to think before I wisecrack. TV personalities aren’t doing it and people are so offended they demand shows be taken off the air. So much for my future in stand-up comedy. I managed to appear a couple of times on closed circuit television when I was in Summit County and a joke in a comedy club won a round of drinks for a table full of strangers I had been sitting with.

That joke would be vilified in today’s social climate and the TV shows would lose sponsors.

Almost everything has a sexual underbelly that doesn’t want to be tickled.

Every day, it seems another powerful man falls prey to allegations that he acted inappropriately with one or more women. Nothing demands proof, memories cause heads to roll.

I was in my fifties when I remembered a sexual assault from age 6. The person involved had no particular power and I buried it in my mind. I do understand.

I’m wondering when a man will make the same claim against a powerful woman. Women grope and proposition men and they seem to be flattered. I can’t believe none of them is offended.

Things are not equal, no matter what my human pipe dream might be.

Even the term “pipe dream” has become offensive to some. I have had people crack “stoner” jokes when I say I was born and raised in Colorado. I don’t smoke pot. It’s available for people over 21 and I don’t begrudge it for those who do.

Human perception has changed. Cannabis has been part of humanity’s medicine chest for eons and has been proven by archaeology.

I read about it and can cite the sources for the information.

Several years ago, I attended a wedding in California and was told my car must have been purchased in another state because it didn’t have ski racks. Didn’t all Colorado cars have racks as standard equipment?
The speaker had “read it someplace.”

Reading something someplace has changed. I am amazed that the term, “fake news,” has become part of the national vocabulary. It has become common to tag something one doesn’t like with that label, despite the hard work that went into gathering it. You don’t agree with it? It’s fake.

Alternative facts were “read someplace” and assumed to be true, but a source isn’t cited.
My advice for 2018?

Remember, we live in the United States of America. The Americas is a huge continent with countless people in many nations.

Be more honest, look beyond yourself and try to understand what’s going on around you.

Take ethnicity, religion, race, creed and skin color out of the picture. The human race includes everyone on the planet.

Evangelists won’t get more people onto the path of Christ if they don’t tell us what He preached and visibly live by it.

Learn about other cultures. Not everyone with different skin color or beliefs is a threat.

If someone wins by a one-vote margin, understand the importance of that one vote.

Learn about Social Security and Medicare.

Read the Constitution and understand it guarantees protections and benefits for every citizen, as well as for some who aren’t here legally. Don’t break up families.

Respect the rule of law and remember this is a free country.