Albert Einstein Said It But It Need Not Be So

Einstein

Uncanny prediction. Based on the following pictures, we might be inclined to agree. (P.S. I’ve been informed Snopes says he didn’t say this) Still, a ponderable quote -smile.

Planning the honeymoon

Honeymoon

How about a day at the beach?

Funny surprised woman watching social media in a smart phone on the beach Stock Image

Young

Old

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On a date?

Dinner with family and friends? couple-date-playing-their-phones-young-men-women-sitting-looking-cell-isolated-white-background-72054224

At dinner

Egads!  Does anyone else see themselves here?

________________________

I have a sweet son, who is learning how to engage with the human race.  It has been hard for him.  He is a Millenial, raised on technology. It’s so difficult for young people to stay connected in a real way.

You may not know this about me, but I am really, truly shy.  Internally, I agonize over interacting with the human race. If someone has a child or a dog, I zero in on them and then the rest happen as it may.  Have you ever seen others do that? They go for the dog?

I was lucky though. I did not have technology to hide behind. I had a stage mom who forced me into modeling and putting me into charm school.  Do they even have those anymore?  I learned how to walk, talk, dress and smile.  Yup! It wasn’t easy, but I learned.

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In Balboa Park for modeling portfolio

She then poked and prodded for me to enter beauty contests and finally land my first real job as a flight attendant. A glamorous, glib, flight attendant!!!  Talk about scary.  In those days we didn’t have recorded devices to give you emergency information.  We actually had to memorize and make these announcements ourselves.

My first PA was ghastly.  I’ll never forget seeing my training stew running up the aisle to quickly inform me to lower my voice a few notches so I wouldn’t panic the passengers.  I was shaking like a leaf. Before long, I was practically performing skits to entertain passengers, especially on delayed trips, or fog outs/ins.  I was forced to engage.

Kids today are generally really not stupid, though. They just don’t know how to interact.  I have noticed that young people have difficulty either relating to adults or to their peers.  They are seldom strong in both. I’ve seen teens and young people who just cannot engage with or be in the presence of an adult without looking like they are about to leap out of their own skin!  I know my son, does well with adults and children, but is terrified of his peers.  I know some of that is because he has ADD and was bullied in school, but it has not gone away.  It still haunts him.

He says, he wants to be more like me.  I gave him my tricks.  For parties, I arrive early and get busy helping. This way people come in one at a time and it’s less scary.  Take a pal with you, someone to talk to. They don’t have to know you are using them as a crutch. Check out the room, there is usually someone there as nervous as you. Go to that person and engage them in conversation.  If they are unresponsive, because that is often the case, move on.  When doing this becomes a habit, you no longer think of how frightened you are.

These days, even though I’m married, I do most things alone. He’s not into theater, movies and the like, so I go alone to go at all. Those I know that do, live far away from me. I’m actually surprised at how many people I know, especially in California who don’t care for the arts.  When I go to LA for networking, I’m alone.  Fortunately, many artists are introverts, so I’m in good company.  Again, I arrive early, which helps a lot.

Do I spend time on the phone? Oh yeah, but I’m working on it.  Mostly I’m guilty of doing it with my hubby. Yes, I have to admit to sitting in the car driving cross country with my him doing this very thing. He didn’t like it.  Since then, unless I’m checking directions, I do my best to keep him engaged.  After all, what if he falls asleep and I don’t notice and there we go, veering off the highway into a ditch or maybe into a semi? It could happen.

Preoccupation with the phone is something I try not to do while with others. It’s rude and hurtful.  When someone does it to me, it just tells me they’d rather be on their phone than in my presence and quite frankly, if that’s the case then… Ba, BYE!

More and more I’m working up the nerve to just tell someone that’s how it feels.

 

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Okay, so really?

Come on give them some credit! Maybe they’re researching the artist?

  • Pictures courtesy of dreamstime.com, the web and personal.

Memorial Day

789547,1328638566,20Memorial Day is coming up in two days and I decided, I guess in memory of the many lives lost in the Vietnam War and because it was the war that impacted me the most, that I would settle in for a movie I’d dodged for some time.  It somehow seemed apropos.

The movie was “Born on the Fourth of July”.  It wasn’t long before I realized why I had avoided it all these years.  A third of the way through, it was all I could take. As a screenwriter, I felt it was important to get through this highly acclaimed film that won so many awards when it came out.  I failed miserably. I could only bear the first hour and a few minutes before I started to experience hot flashes and an eminent panic attack. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t watch.

Seeing what some of these guys went through after they returned was as daunting as imagining what they endured while in Vietnam; what they went through and how some must have felt getting that dreaded draft letter in the mail saying, “Uncle Sam Needs You!”. It was a bad time.soldier-390202_150

I know there were countless young men that either got married, stayed in school, fled the country (including a past president), claimed a religious exemption or spent time in jail rather than fight a war they didn’t agree with, and who somehow managed to dodge the bullet so to speak, but this isn’t about them.

This is also not about those who died. Instead it’s about the ones who came home, the ones who suffered upon their return, those who were spat on, cursed and dealt with poorly.

________

Growing up, I was  pretty sheltered from the world and it’s politics because at the time, I belonged to a religion that abstained from politics. I was not a strong participant but it was the religion of my mother and I lived at home.  Was it easy? No and Yes.  Did I know there was a war? Of course, but only one person in our religion that I knew of went to Vietnam.  He died.

Later, I would date a guy in college who hoped he wouldn’t get called up and another who eventually did. I would later lose classmates to the war, some would never taste battle because they were picked off one by one parachuting down, like sitting ducks. Another got hooked on drugs unable to cope with the horror of the war and the rejection at home. I never knew about what these crippled and maimed soldiers would experience in the facilities they were put in when they were recovering, nor that they were treated like so much trash. The depiction was overwhelming.

wall-240014__180Did Hollywood embellish? Perhaps. They are famous for their “creative license” but in this case, I seriously don’t think so.  Perhaps not all places were the same, but I do know that today they have suicide watches in some facilities for both soldiers and their families. That’s another story.

I first came face to face with the realities of the war while I worked as a flight attendant.  One day, in about 1968, our captain told us that we would be picking up soldiers in San Francisco and bringing them home to L.A.  I am grateful to say I never felt loathing for these young men nor was I a protester, ever. That perhaps, was the saving grace of my religion.

So when I saw our cargo, I felt only compassion for each and every one of them. Each one had been seriously injured and/or missing limbs. The more serious of the group was a personable, but very nervous young man missing opposite limbs. He was seated in the front row and he told me that he was afraid of how his mother would take it. He’d not told her how badly he’d been maimed and was wishing he’d prepared her. The others had.  I thought, what was he thinking?  He was young though and I think of my son the Marine and know he would have done the same thing. In any case, here he was. Afraid of how she would react, he asked to disembark last, which we honored.

I watched as  his parents approached the plane and waited at the foot of the stairs as the agents carried him down to the chair waiting for him.  Upon seeing him, I caught a brief start from his mother and the pain in hers and his fathers face.  Amazingly they bravely kept it together and greeted him lovingly.  At the top of the stairs tears were forcing their way through as we, the crew and I, stood watching solemnly, keeping it together until they were gone.  And yes, we later cried or I should say I bawled but not until we’d said our good-bye’s.

At some point and before he had gotten too far, he turned and waved at us and his family thanked us for bringing him home. We waved back.  I look back on that day realizing the honor and privilege it was to have been a part of their homecoming. I know my flight crew, having been veterans themselves, felt it as well.

I have often thought about that young man and about all those young men, wondering what ever happened to them?  I guess that’s why this film touched me so deeply.  Could that have been them?  What was their experience?  Every now and again, I see a vet on the street holding a sign, begging and I wonder.

A dear friend is always saying, “Why can’t we just get along?”  I know he says it in sincerity and with passion. I agree. It’s an age old question.  Why can’t we?

When I belonged to my other religion, we often quoted the scripture that states:

Luke 12:51 “Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division.”  Granted it had more to do with warning those who would take up the banner for Christ to expect to be ostracized, persecuted and suffer oppression. Yet…

That has become a global reality .  There are many who say all wars are religious.  In the early days they may have been territorial, but isn’t that what we see now in the Middle East, is it not in the name of religion, in the name of their god that there is so much killing?

“Why can’t we just get along?”

I realize that Monday we honor veterans on “Memorial Day, not just those who died in Vietnam, but those who’ve died in all wars and perhaps if nothing else, remember them and say a prayer for their families and for those who are still living to have peace and be peaceable.

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