So. Here we are. The voices of millions of victims of sexual assault were ignored, and, although two of the literal qualifications for a United States judge are a) maintaining public confidence and b) having the kind of impeccable integrity not to, say, sidestep direct questions from Congress or minimize one’s past flaws under oath, we’ve got him anyway.
Well, that sucks.
Yesterday, I had the poops. Food poisoning, I’m pretty sure, since the condition arrived suddenly and departed a mere hour later. But it could’ve been the political situation, which is a lot less delicious than shrimp ceviche. I feel like either could’ve caused the rolling sweats, the dramatic drop in blood pressure, the excruciating cramps, and the certainty that THIS TIME I WILL ACTUALLY DIE because my EMT cousin told me they find people dead on the toilet all the time. (Thanks, Kevin.)
It was a public restroom, too, because of course I couldn’t do this in the privacy of my own room. Nope. Gotta be as disruptive and humiliating as possible. So I sat there trying to have the quiet poops, which everyone knows is impossible but necessary to attempt so you and your potty compatriots can pretend together nothing happened.
For a while.
Until I reached the part where you cannot continue unless you strip yourself of all clothing. I don’t know why this is. I can’t explain it. I just know there reaches a point in the poopies where your poops are stymied unless your flesh is free. So I divested myself of clothes in deference to the poopies.
The problem was the poopies liked that. They liked it so much, they decided to all flee my body at once.
My vision started to go black. I stopped caring about the quiet, which is a good thing because the poopies and the keening weren’t having it. I nearly passed out, and I realized, if I didn’t want my lifeless body to be found on the floor of a locked stall, blocking the door completely because there was no where else in the tiny closet for a body to go, I ought to seek assistance. I ought to at least pass out in an environment where other humans have access to me that they might give me oxygen or CPR or at least put me on ice before I start to rot and create an even bigger problem. I wouldn’t be doing it for me, I convinced myself. I would be doing it for others.
And so I cracked open the door and starting saying “excuse me” in my calmest I’m Having an Crisis voice. “Excuse me,” I said but too quietly. The lady at the sink didn’t hear me. Or she was still in Politely Ignore the Situation in That Stall mode. “Excuse me,” I said louder. No luck. “I NEED HELP,” I squawked, WAY TOO LOUD because I lost Quiet Poopy Time focus, and she heard me and turned.
“I’m sorry, I’m so sorry, I’m sorry but I need help,” I said because GOD FORBID we have needs without apologizing for them. And that lady spent the next 20 minutes tracking down help, finding Greg, and taking up watch outside my stall until he arrived to escort my sorry self back to our condo. Then she gracefully disappeared without waiting for thanks.
Of course she did. Because that’s what we compassionate humans do for each other in crisis. We listen. We believe.We tell the hurting soul trapped inside the stall to quit apologizing. We help as requested. We station ourselves to protect the vulnerable one until she’s safe. And then we bow out. No need for thanks because our literal job on this earth is to care for one another.
So here’s what we do now, friends.
1. We open our ears as WIDE as possible.
2. We listen to the cries for help.
3. We believe each other.
4. We run for help.
5. We protect the vulnerable.
6. We expect no thanks for doing the right thing. For treating each other as human. For creating a ruckus until help comes. Even though other people walk by. Even though not everyone is compassionate or kind or helpful. Even though standing by the stall takes 20 minutes away from other things we had planned. Even though people will try to tell us we’re extraordinary for lending a hand. We know otherwise. We know this is basic decency. We know that, while not everyone would do it, everyone should do it, and we will fulfill the Love One Another contract despite the behavior of others.
7. And finally, today, we remember we don’t “depend on the Supreme Court to defend the rights of poor people, women, people of color, dissenters of all kinds. Those rights only come alive when citizens organize, protest, demonstrate, strike, boycott, rebel, and violate the law in order to uphold justice.” And so we prepare ourselves for the fight to come.
Sending love, friends, and waving, waving, waving in the dark,
P. S. Yes, I just turned a story about the poops into one about the ways we help each other. I work with what I’ve got, folks.
P.P.S. IMPORTANT AND TIME SENSITIVE: Remember a couple days ago when I announced that I FOUND FOUND OUR PATRONUS, aka St. Jude, the Patron Saint of Chaos and Impossible Causes…
…and that I found 4 additional St. Jude medallions and chains should anyone want to purchase one? Well, one of you LOVELY, AMAZING HUMANS offered to purchase one for someone who needs it but can’t afford it. DEAR GOD, I LOVE OUR TRIBE. Also, there were more than 4 of you who wanted them. As a result, a) I’m going on a hunt tomorrow, our last day in Mexico to try hard to scoop up more, b) I’D LIKE TO KNOW IF ANYONE ELSE WANTS TO FOLLOW THAT RAD PERSON’S LEAD AND SPONSOR ST. JUDE MEDALLIONS FOR OTHERS because that’s the Very Best, Most Healing Idea I’ve heard in FOREVER 😍, and c) if you ARE the human who needs (which, in this case, is defined as really, really wishes she could have) a St. Jude medallion necklace but just can’t do the $35 right now, would you please let me know? In the case of b or c, pretty please email me at Beth@BethWoolsey.com with Expecto Patronum in the subject line. I can’t promise you I can find more or that I can give more than one away, but I’m going to TRY. Because HOPE is especially important right now.
P.P.P.S. And now it’s time for an announcement I’m super stoked to make.
Friends, I BROKE GREG.
As a refresher, we fostered kittens which Greg had STRICTLY forbidden because Greg is opposed to joy.
THEN Greg said he wanted a kitten for us. To KEEP. ForEVER.
I kid you not.
That’s a REAL THING THAT HAPPENED.
THIS IS WHAT IT MEANS TO KEEP THE FAITH, friends. I KNEW WE COULD BREAK HIM EVENTUALLY.
And so, because I love Greg and listen to everything he tells me, we’re adopting Luna next week:
But because I’m still me, we’re also adopting her twin brother, Griffin:
I feel like kittens are the most logical response to America right now, and I’m nothing if not logical. :*
18 responses to “Well, That Sucks. Here’s What We Do Now. Also, Pictures of Kittens.”
Dear Beth–Thank you for writing what you write. You give me hope that there are good people in the world when things seem hopeless. I wish we lived next door to each other and could be best friends. Please continue to write and/or be shrill. Your words are important and will help make the world a better place for our daughters. My love and admiration to you,– Julia
Yes, kittens are a perfect response to the world! Thank you for the poppy, social changing story! Your words are always delightful and thought-provoking!
I meant poopy lol.
I too have read you for years and enjoyed most of your writing. Sometimes you exaggerate to make a good point, but this time I can’t let this exaggeration go. Were the voices of millions of victims of sexual assault really ignored? No, the accusations of three women were considered and found less credible than the many who spoke on behalf of the accused’s character. Attempts to destroy a good man’s reputation and career are not the way to make right the many tragic times when truly victimized women have been wronged. I think it more likely that Professor Ford was wronged by the Democratic Party leadership because they used her to attempt to block the confirmation, knowing that legal abortion was in jeopardy if Kavanaugh was confirmed. I hope they were right and that we pro-lifers will step up to take in children not killed before they’re born.
I’ve had the Chrome Extension “Make America KIttens Again” on my devices since 2016, which is starting to have the terrible side effect of making me see kittens and think it’s an article about Trump. Thank you for showing me kittens that are about kittens.
I did not need to know that about people being found dead on toilets either. Tell Kevin thanks from me too.
P. S. Since I have less need to be gracious on your blog, let me just point out that “shrill” is a classic woman-silencing term. Heaven forfend that you speak your truth loudly.
Well it’s time to wave goodbye. I’m not 1 in 4 victims of sexual assault but my husband was accused of sexual harassment and assault because another nurse didn’t like the shift she was assigned to and thought she would get rid of him and get his shift. It cost us a lawyer and countless hours of stress and heartache and almost his nursing license job and livelihood before the police concluded it was totally false.
I’ve read you for years and laughed so hard I cried with many of your posts but I’ve watched you get shriller and shriller and I’m done.
Hi Erica. I’m so sorry that happened to you and your husband.
I’m sorry to see you go. I wish you all the best.
Politics, poops, inspiration and kittens all in one blog 🙂 What an amazing lady you found in your moment of need. Not everyone is good in a crisis (and in another language given you are away?). It reminds me of the time that my daughter had a major vomit in a restaurant after a febrile convulsion – my friend was calmly catching the vomit in paper napkins and disposing of them in nappy bags. Not everyone would do that….
GREATER LOVE HAS NO FRIEND THAN THIS!
So, laughing out loud at your poopies story because I understand and I also appreciate your willingness to put that experience out in the Internet world for everyone (EVERYONE) to read (if he or she so wishes). And also I thank you for the link to the Howard Zinn article from 2005 that offers much-needed perspective. Love you, Beth!
I found that Howard Zinn article to be ENORMOUSLY helpful, too. Important words.
Kittens are always a plus. Right up there with kind helpful humans. May we all have more interactions with both!
Ah, I love you. This is just what I needed tonight. -waving back in the dark.
I was about to scroll down and tell you a funny story about hearing someone throwing up in the stall next to me in the bathroom where I was hiding at the bouncy house birthday party place but I keep reading and started crying instead. You’re a gift.
Tell me the funny story anyway! BOTH/AND around here. Tears AND funny stories. 🙂
As always spot on but THOSE kittens, oh my.