16 April 2015

Word Play: The Bully Card

I'm going to try to be clear on this one.

I say try, because regardless of which words I choose or the intent with which I use them, the semantics won't matter out of context. That however, is a risk I assume when choosing to use an online platform to share my thoughts.

First is our subject matter: Bullying, perception vs reality - weight and dilution - and the use of The Bully Card.

Second - I am NOT discussing bullying of children - this one's about the grown ups. Not tweens, not college kids ----> the no kidding have a job, pay their own bills, have kids of some form (fur babies, baby babies... student loans) ADULTS.

Let's ask someone we all (generally speaking) know and usually agree with for our left and right limits.

Mr Webster what does it mean to bully?



FRIGHTEN

HURT

THREATEN....






Mr Webster what is a victim?


ATTACKED

INJURED

CHEATED

HARMED...





Is it possible that we are throwing around the word bully so much that it is becoming a joke? Have we diluted the word so drastically that it is the first word we jump to when someone disagrees with us?

Words have meaning. They carry weight, and they can actually affect a person to the point of hurting them-self or others.  Semantics are important. Look at the word hero for example;

Hero, one who with disregard for their welfare acts with bravery and valor. Now, the guy who stops a grocery cart from hitting your car. The baseball player who hits a home run. A sandwich.

We need to be less flippant and work to maintain the integrity of the words we use. Eventually, we'll hear them so much they'll have no meaning, they'll spark no response.

If someone is mean to you because of something YOU did to make them angry - does that make them a bully? Or are they just MAD at you?

If someone vehemently disagrees with you on any given subject and they vocalize that disagreement - are they a bully? Or just the opposition?

Those who go out of their way to hunt out the weak among us and without provocation attack their very self worth are bullies. They devise ways to belittle and degrade with the intent to harm or humiliate their target. They take a simple disagreement and turn it into a personal attack. They find ways to infiltrate your life, your work... your thoughts.

Someone who dislikes you? Someone who disagrees with you? Someone who is just generally rude... not always a bully. 

An acquaintance of mine Jessie R said:

I think it's really easy to say, 
"I'm not a bully, it's just that overly sensitive people get butthurt. A lot."

That said, every person who is a rude asshole isn't necessarily a bully. Bullying, to me, implies a concerted targeting of a specific
person, typically more than once, by an individual or group or organization. But somebody can be mean, classless, a bitch, a rude jerk or piece of crap troublemaker and not be a bully, sure.  



I won't defend "Dependa Bashing" (that's people making fun of military spouses for my civilian friends) or pretend like bullying doesn't happen... I also think there needs to be a balance of voices. 

We are not all victims. If you make the choice to share your opinions publicly you open yourself up to critics, dissent and depending on the content out right ridicule. We, those of us who share our opinions publicly must be prepared for and receptive to criticism. People who converse online, share their personal beliefs MUST understand that 100% of the human race isn't going to be on the same page. We must be mature enough to handle both the supportive and critical response to our work. Someone who doesn't like you or agree with you isn't automatically a bully.

We as adults must be less instantaneous with our use of the term, basically, stop using the word bully like a get out of "I messed up" free card. When the bully card is thrown prematurely or constantly its validity wanes and we take away its authenticity. This practice sets an interesting example - we teach everyone around us that legitimate censure can be dismissed with the single cry of BULLY!

When you have a negative response - not an attack - a negative response, that should be a teachable moment. That is the time when you need to take a step back and gain some perspective. It is actually humanly possible to BE WRONG... to DO WRONG...  You can actually deserve to have someone say something mean or angry to you. You may have someone go out of their way to read over 897 words to inform you - you used the wrong their, they're, there... ONCE. Guess what.. they're right and you need to go find the there, they're, their error and correct it. Don't just reply with "YOU'RE A GRAMMAR BULLY!!! I'm only human!!! Leave me alone you BULLY!!!"

BUT...

Don't be an asshole. If you hate content. Make fun of the words. Say the author might want to review their sources. Tell them they've stepped away from reality and might want to catch the first ship back from la la land, but don't tell them they are a piece of trash human being who shouldn't be afforded another breath on the surface of the planet. Don't hunt down their personal contact info. Don't harass them via email, text or social mdia. Don't bring their spouse, children or other family members into a disagreement just so you can get the last word in. Hunting for a way to actually HURT an individual... That? That's makes you a bully. (Unless they are publishing illegal content, hate speech or threaten the welfare of other human beings.)

Learn how to disagree with someone using words to break down your thoughts or theirs not to break down their worth.

All of that BUT... being said.

Some people need to get a thicker skin, pull up their big girl panties, strap on their embrace the suck suspenders and pull out that special straw so they can suck it up, however...

If you feel someone is bullying you - really bullying you - screw them. You are worthy. You are not garbage, and that jacktard's opinion isn't valid enough for you to feel bad about.

Want me to be your back up? Leave I comment - I got you!


XO XO & Stuff

Jinger

11 April 2015

This one time.... at Army camp

There are very very few people that

1. have the unique displeasure of viewing every facet of my personality
2. can understand and manage those facets

One of these poor souls is my girl Carmella. She and I met through the Army (that is a story for another time). Like many of our fellow Soldiers we can read each other pretty clearly, and Carmella is no exception. She very very quickly identified that there are two Jingers. She labled them Pink Jinger and Green Jinger - PJ & GJ. I'll introduce you to Green Jinger first.

Carmella's Definitions of my Sybilnosis. 

Green jinger is the force of the force.   The know all, compassionate,  wealth of information soldier whose dedication to all around is not only unquestionable but absolutely the standard for standards. Aka - Evil Drill Sergeant Army Me.

Pink Jinger is the intelligent woman who is a funny, sarcastic,  mom that balances the world like the rest of us.  
Aka - Girly Me.


Why am I telling you this? To stroke my narcisitic ego of course! Duh. No, because sometimes the two entities escape their carefully constructed compartmentalized cells and colide. The results? Keep reading.

So this one time at Army camp (aka Ft AP Hill) we were running some STX (squad training exercise) lanes for some fellow NCOs.  As we sat in the bleachers, blue skies above, sun shining a soft breeze rustled the leaves above our heads.... resulting in what felt like a soft rain falling on our shoulders.

Rain? It was raining alright. Raining TICKS. Mother - FUDGING - LYME DISEASE CARRYING - OH MY LORD - PARASITIC - TICKS!!! (ticks are bad, I'm not crazy - they are bad - well I am crazy - but they are more bad than I am crazy - I read it on Fox News.)

I'm not a fan... Sorry that is a gross understatement I go from this:


to this... 

Speaking of screaming in the shower - let's get back to the story. Like every other poor bastard that weekend I performed the necessary tick check as I showered. Yep - good to go. No ticks.

Head back to our room, "Hey Battle, need you to check me for ticks"
Carmella being the selfless (and much less affected) person she is, "I got you... nope you're good", and she shuffles down the hall for her turn in the ice bucket (shower I mean shower).

I proceed to dry off and get dressed. As I pull my big girl panties on I feel a bump. On my ass.
"Oh God. Its a tick. I know its a tick. FML ITS A GD TICK" (that's in my head) externally I reach my hand back to see just maybe if its a grain of sand I can just brush off, don't want to over react (more). I brush my hand along my back side nope, doesn't budge "Oh God. Its a tick. I know its a tick. FML ITS A GD TICK"!!!!!!

CCCCCAAAAAAARRRRRRMMMMEEEEEELLLLLLLLAAAAAAA!

I am not whispering. I'm not projecting. I'm bellowing, and Carmella being the angel she is pops her head out of Elsa's Waterfall and says "You gotta tick?"

CAAARRRRRR-MEEEELLLL- AAAAHHHHH!!!!

"Oh shit, I'm comin'"

**she's gets me**

Carmella hustles her half soap dripping body back to our room and proceeds - to my extreme relief - to perform tick removal... but she hesitates... then the world stops.

"Oh God, Oh no" -- her face is buried in her hands. This can't be good.

"WHAT!!! WHAT IS IT!!! GET IT OFF ME!!"

"This is bad. Its a blue tick. They are really bad."

"WHAT? WHAT IS THAT? WHAT? PULL IT OFF!!! OH MY GOD!!"

"Ok you ready?" BOOM she rips it off.  "bwahahahahahahahahahaha, I am never gonna let you forget this!!! aha hahahahahahahaha PJ!!! hahahahahahahaha"

Ladies and Gentleman. I give you the blue tick nest.


That's right. A bedazzled blue tick from Carmella's phone found its way onto my happy ass.

Thank you Carmella - you saved me from myself yet again. I love you.



XO XO & Stuff

Jinger

10 April 2015

The Wright Expectations

It is spring break, and unfortunately it has been a pretty dismal showing. Weather's been cold and rainy, and for a good ten-twelve days I've been fighting the worst cold/flu that I can remember. It was so bad at one point I quite literally wanted my mommy.

Anyway, today I finally felt human. I was able to extend breathing more than 17 seconds without hacking up a lung, and didn't have a slime eel oozing down my face. Normal? Meh, close enough. Mucinex w/ a shot of DayQuil and we're out the door.

The Mr. and I decided to make use of what time we did have left and roll on out to the Wright Brothers' National Memorial. I'd been there before as a kid, and we figured its a good place to spend a little time and make some fun memories with our kids.

Now, when I was about 9 (I think) my sisters and I went to the memorial with Dad. I remembered it wasn't the most thrilling of places - no bells and whistles - no videos or buttons to push, so we didn't want the kids to get the wrong idea about where we were going. Didn't want them to expect Disney and get the school library (although my oldest would be cool with that). Most parents have been on the receiving end of an "Ahhhhh, man is this it?" whine-a-thon.

So, what does any amazing, self-nominated mother of the year do in a situation like this? Ummm, tell your kids you're taking them to the new commissary (that's a fancy word for grocery stores found on military installations) for a case lot sale on Chicken.

The boys were thrilled. I mean who doesn't want to help mom carry cases of dark meat back to the truck? The girl, well... she's 6 so she hasn't hit the era of disgruntled everything, yet.

This is better than going to any park or commercial amusement center. Right?

Well, when we arrived at the memorial, much to our surprise the gates look very similar to that of a base. There's a uniformed person who takes your entry fee ($8 for adults, Kids 15 & Under Free) and directing traffic.

Our oldest "Oh my gosh mom? Really are we really here to get chicken?"

Don't worry we didn't torture them much longer.

Needless to say, we walked, we read signs we checked out the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th landing points. We climbed to the monument and ran back down.  Had a picnic in the truck bed. The kids raced, jumped, laughed and were kind enough to pose for all of mom's required "look happy doggone it" pictures. Even logged a couple miles on the Charity Miles app for Team Red, White & Blue.


As we walked back to the truck the oldest says "Did we see everything?"
Me "Yeah, buddy what did you think?"
Bubs "Where do they sell the chicken?"

XO XO & Stuff,

Jinger

Admin Note ~ Comments

Here's the deal -

If you like what I have to say... comment or share.

If you don't like what I have to say... comment, email, message - SHARE and say I HATE THIS. Call me a jackass
.
.
.
.
.... there's one little thing ((wait let me make sure I used the right there/they're/their - yep - good - at least according to Wiki something)). If you don't sign your name, username, superhero alter ego made up title or ninja pseudonym.

I'll delete your comments.




XO XO & Stuff,

Jinger

09 April 2015

Welcome to the Neighborhood

Yesterday I posted a very sarcastic and somewhat catty retort to someone's content.

We, the other author and I, are part of a community... a community that is perceived to be a united front. One that people assume toes the line of defense with unilateral support.

So, let's talk about our online neighborhood shall we?

Let's start with the loudest kids on the block. We've got the O'Doyle Clan.

The outspoken, in your face and don't care if your feelings are hurt OSMW and Dysfunctional Veterans. These beauties often shine a flashlight on the depths of our world we'd like to pretend don't exist. They hunt those people who work the system, and those parasites often find themselves toilet-papered by the O'Doyles.  They are the first to find jerk offs guilty of Stolen Valor and do everything in their power to make them infamous. They plaster abusers and users all over social media letting others know the dirt bags are among us.

On the dark side the O'Doyles can be bullies. They'll do anything for a laugh up to and including cannibalizing their own (I've been a target and I too have been accused, but I don't eat mutton I leave that for the wolves). It can be stomach turning to see the memes and caustic responses to seemingly innocent mistakes. It sucks to be on the receiving end, but even the O'Doyles serve their purpose.

Who's next, oh some of my personal favorites - the party boys. Their yards aren't perfectly manicured, but man the beer is cold, Jameson is plentiful and the grill is always ready to light somebody up.

 RangerUp & MBest11x are two of our neighbors who tell it like it is, but keep just a little trashy. (( Head over to the Rhino Den - you'll thank me later - well if you have a sense of humor and are remotely intelligent you will)). They value a little blunt force honesty as much as the next veteran, but their business savvy usually keeps them on the far side of the O'doyle Rules (see what I did there). 

When you aren't dying over their videos or Meme War Friday - these guys are raising money for Veteran Non Profits, offering entrepreneur training and truly making an impact for their brothers and sisters in arms. They're a little more deep than they might appear on the interwebz.

Shall we continue down the street? Hmmm who's that watering the flowers and dropping off a casserole?

Oh!! Its our Junior League!! ((if you are seriously confused by this reference click here))

By no means are they "junior" or small time; the publishing, blogging and FB giants of NextGen MilSpouse, SpouseBUZZ and those like them are out there trying to make a difference. They're hunting down the community's problems and working toward solutions. Their joining forces to share ideas and fix what's broken.

The flip side? Some of the neighbors see them as busy body know-it-alls, who's perceived prudish uniformity calls into question their objectivity on issues. As they get bigger some say they grow more detached.

What most of the neighbors forget, is that these are open forums. You can submit content to the editors. You can refute claims you believe to be untrue (comments, FB, email). They are trying to make a tangible difference, and usually their Hippocratic oath stands firm.

In between these notable few, are the every day individuals. The neighbors who get up, go to work and chat with the people in their circle. They gather in groups, (spouses groups, FRGs, FB social circles) and discuss what is going on with the people next door.

Sometimes, there's a whole bunch of cars parked in front of one house or another and phones ring with inquiries, statuses update with the latest gossip... sometimes its good; a birthday or a homecoming; others are bad... someone got caught cheating, another sold toys they got from charity - or God forbid - someone disagreed with a neighbor's opinion about our community.

Let's be honest. We don't love all our neighbors. We smile, we wave - we might even be cordial, but the reality is we don't all have the same beliefs. We don't all think the same thoughts, and we don't always get along.

As we walk down our online street dotted with all kinds of communication vehicles our various branches represented in countless ways - what we need to understand and respect is that wearing the uniform (or being married to someone that does) does not make us identical - nor does it equate to instantaneous deference.

I wore the uniform for 12 years that doesn't mean I will agree with every opinion uttered by someone who's served.  Just because I married a man in uniform, it doesn't mean I will support and defend every opinion of every spouse who opens his or her mouth to communicate publicly. I will not follow him, her or them blindly because "well they're a MilSpouse".

Should we attack the very humanity of an individual we disagree with? No. Should someone's marriage be dissected after they write a fluff piece that flopped? Absolutely not.

However, if you want carte blanche simply based upon having bought a house on our block, you can want in one hand and well... you know how the rest goes.

XO XO & Stuff,

Jinger

08 April 2015

Counting Candles

Well I'm 36.

Yep. I've lived 13,140 days - give or take a leap year.

Traditionally people ask "what do you want for your birthday" or "what are you doing for your birthday". Well.. instead of counting candles I'm going to make every day count.

This past 365 was hard... too many people I knew and cared about died. Not got sick or lost a job or broke a bone. They died. Disease or tragedy took them much earlier than the norm, and it taught me something. Its cliche... you've heard it a million times...



 So, I'm going to make each day count. I'll set goals. I'll perform tasks. I'll be a doer not a dreamer.

Now cool your jets. There will be no Everest or mind blowing invention. Its just simple things. The words "I wish" will be the last on my mind instead of the sitting on the tip of my tongue.

This morning I woke up with a simple task in my mind - purge the kids wardrobe. ((I'm tired of doing laundry when I know it was already clean)). 2 down 1 to go.

I knew my FB would be exploding with "Happy Birthday" messages, so I've chosen to ask for donations to Team Joe - in honor of Joe Clunie who was taken from his family by Melanoma at the age of 35. His wife Crystal got me through my first deployment (the kids were 3, 2 and 7 months). Yeah... She is an angel and deserves to have wind beneath her wings.

You don't have to build a building ~ tear down walls ~ break the glass ceiling. Just live with purpose.

Here's to the last 36 ~ now its time to get back to living life.

XO XO ~

Jinger

07 April 2015

Cute Litte Six

"I remember when you were six!
You were such a cute little six! 
Happy Birthday Ninner Baby Heart..."

Every.

Single.

Year.

"Thanks Dad."

It didn't matter where I was in life. Dabbling in the party scene, off at college or deployed with the Army. Dad never fails to sing me happy birthday and tell me how cute I was at the age of six.

Now that I have a six year old daughter I totally get it. There's simple confidence in a little one that is contagious. Their excitement for life just fills a room, and they have so much to share with you. Everything is new, and yet they are starting to understand that they are a part of it all. They can make things happen!

Dad and I? Our relationship isn't one for TV movies. He was a pain and I was a jerk. I was irresponsible and he was batting clean up. We both made mistakes and calculated errors in life. So yeah, looking back. I can see how Dad got stuck on six year old me. I was probably much nicer back then. Definitely less of a hard ass.

Well tomorrow is my birthday. The phone will buzz, ring and ping with Facebook wishes and texts and calls. It will come and go. My kids will make me cards... there will probably be a cake.

I'll tell myself not to wait for it... that one phone call and the overly emotional mushy card with flowers all over it gushing with sentiment and Happy Birthday Daughter, with three little letters on the bottom... Dad - that card and that call won't come.

Dad's gone now, we lost him in January... but in the end I got to do what so many others don't have the chance to do. I got to say goodbye. I got to apologize. I got to forgive.

He's no longer struggling for a breath so he can use it to tell you some long winded story about something I did that was actually my sister (yep, still holding onto that one old man). He's no longer hurting or hungry. I'm no longer angry or frustrated.

They say (whoever the hell they are) that the sorrow of loss will hit different people at different times. That we cope in different ways. Well here's to the pain... you've got to feel it in order to respond and move forward. Dwelling in sorrow will not honor those who've gone before. 

On the outside I'm turning 36 and need a glass of wine... on the inside, I'm just a little six... who's missing her Dad.


I miss you Old Fart, Love Ninner.


01 April 2015

Values v Value

I'm pretty freakin' opinionated. I'm also a bit judgmental. I'm ok with both of these traits and it isn't likely they will change. Those characteristics, however, can lead to disagreements with people who aren't of a like mind. Someone like my beautiful and amazing cousin Erin.

Erin and I could play ping pong with the opposite paths we've taken and political opinions we have. She went to college (like alot)... I joined the Army. She likes cats - I have a giant Rottweiler. I would say I am a social-moderate constitutional conservative libertarian. I suspect Erin (or at least some of the people in her social circles) would toss me in the "right-wing nut job tea party" column. They're probably more accurate than I'd care to admit. Erin's a liberal. I'd say flaming or bleeding heart - she'd claim moderate - she'd be wrong, but is totally entitled to her own opinion of herself.(he he he)

What's my point? Good question. My point is that two people can adore each other... respect each other... and TOTALLY DISAGREE!  I didn't sign up to uphold and defend the US Constitution just to suppress the rights of my fellow citizens (even those with whom I vehemently disagree).

Erin and I have spent many hours debating issues - and yet we've never once insulted each others intelligence or value as human beings. We've had disagreements about everything from teacher salaries to abortion. I think the only thing we agree on is marriage equality - but why does someone's political view point equate to their value? In my mind it doesn't and it shouldn't. I'd prefer to debate with an intelligent person than have people follow my lead bleating like sheep.

So - be who you are. Refuse to manipulate your beliefs and values to make other people comfortable. Truly MATURE human beings will accept you for who you are, be willing to discuss different view points and still enjoy your company. We are more than a check in the box at a voting booth.

I will ask that when you are forming your opinions you actually make INFORMED decisions. Think about the unintended consequences of your utopian aspirations. Consider the ramifications of anarchy.. be able to verbalize the WHY behind your beliefs with something more substantial than "you're a Fox news watcher aren't you?" or "stupid lib-tard drink the kool-aid" (that's a Jonestown reference Google it). Disagree with me all you want, but be prepared to defend your position with intellectual exchange not regurgitated rhetoric.

All of that being said - if you try to infringe on my constitutional rights you'll meet the business end of my favorite amendment.

XO XO & Stuff,

Jinger