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Marilee J. Layman

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08:55 pm: Lunch and Politics
I was careful not to wear an Obama button because I know my brother and sister-in-law are fundamentalist Christians and we generally try not to talk about things on which we disagree strongly. We see each other for about 90 minutes twice a year, and we don't need to get angsty.

Before we left, I had a battery out for my brother to put in the smoke detector, but it turns out my nephew is now tall enough to change it without a stepstool. He clearly got our genes and his sister got his mother's -- she's shorter than everybody else in her class. I had an appointment for the van to get its annual oil change and state inspection tomorrow and I asked if they'd follow me up to the shop so I could park it there and drop off the keys, and my brother was fine with that. This way they'll get it earlier and I won't have to get up in the morning. Then we headed on to Applebee's. It's not my favorite place, but my sister-in-law had repeatedly mentioned the last two times that it's their favorite place. We had an amazingly inept waitress who had to keep going back for things.

We'd just been talking about general things -- my nephew has his learning permit, my niece stayed home to give out candy -- and then my sister-in-law (she gave me a fundamentalist Christian pamphlet with underlines for my birthday a couple years ago) asked me who I'd voted for. I said Obama and she asked if I disliked McCain. I told her that I thought he would keep us in bad, wrong wars forever, and that he had admitted he didn't know anything about economics. I said I liked things Obama has -- a better economic plan, a better health plan, etc. and she said he likes abortion. Obama has never said that -- he's said he thinks each state should decide (with which I disagree) -- and I told her that, but I told her that I was in favor of women being able to make a choice.

Women are people, we shouldn't be dictated to about our bodies. I don't think anybody wakes up and says "I'll get pregnant and then get an abortion! What fun!" and the way to avoid a lot of abortions is serious sex ed starting at a young age and free provision of birth control, even if it's condoms. I mentioned that Virginia allows pharmacists and hospital staff to refuse to sell items or do treatments that are against their conscience and said I thought that was going the wrong way. We should make birth control more available.

Which is when my sister-in-law started telling me that her mother had considered aborting her at two months along and if she had, she wouldn't be here and there would be holes in the universe (she's not very bright). My brother, nephew, and I tried to explain to her that's not how it would work, but she has trouble with math; physics is beyond her. My niece was trying to be as small as possible at that point. My sister-in-law's mother told her that she was almost aborted, which was a very malicious thing to do -- to put the burden on the child -- but I said that when we make sure everybody knows about and has birth control, there will be fewer abortions. Women are still people, and they get to make that choice. Fortunately, that's when the check came.

When we got back, we took some pictures and I insisted that they send me copies. My niece ran up to the landing in the back to pick up a phone directory that's been abandoned there for two months (I'll take it to mixed paper recycling on Wednesday) and so she got to carry the candy.

We waved goodbye and I went back to the bedroom to take my jewelry and shoes off and there was a knock on the door. I thought maybe they'd had problems, but it was an Obama volunteer. I told him I'd voted for Obama yesterday and he thanked me. He also invited me to tomorrow's rally just outside of Manassas, but I told him I was disabled and can't handle the fair grounds, but I hoped there'd be lots of people. Then I watched my tape of Meet the Press while I put the Sunday paper in order, skimmed the front pages of the sections, and made the grocery list for Tuesday. I'd only gotten six hours of sleep last night, so I napped with my phone set to wake me up in two hours, just in time for the news.

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Comments

[User Picture]
From:firecat
Date:November 3rd, 2008 05:08 am (UTC)
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Holes in the universe?

I'm sorry your relatives insisted on bringing up politics.
[User Picture]
From:mjlayman
Date:November 3rd, 2008 09:06 pm (UTC)
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I realized this morning that it probably wasn't just her lack of physics or intelligence (Rick has always dated/married women who were either not very bright or very submissive), but a part of her religion -- determinism. God has already decided how the world is going to work and what people do. But she still wouldn't see that that would mean that if there was an abortion, God meant it.

Yeah, I wish we'd stayed on more everyday things. I probably shouldn't have told her how I voted, although she seemed determined to bring up abortion.
[User Picture]
From:firecat
Date:November 3rd, 2008 09:51 pm (UTC)
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Determinism is one of the scarier concepts out there -- that there is a god and he/she/it meant for the world to be as messed up as it is. Eep.
[User Picture]
From:mjlayman
Date:November 3rd, 2008 10:47 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, pretty awful God, then.
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From:green_knight
Date:November 3rd, 2008 09:16 am (UTC)
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My mother told me that she had considered an abortion, but her situation - single mom with long distance relationship that looked to break up, father not interested, herself a student without an income - warranted it. She decided to go ahead with the pregnancy.

I think the difference is that my Mum made it very clear that I was wanted - she *had* a choice and wanted me anyway - and that she has been proving it ever since.
[User Picture]
From:mjlayman
Date:November 3rd, 2008 10:37 pm (UTC)
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My sister-in-law is the youngest of a large set of siblings and apparently that was the rationale, but her father told her mother "why not have it, it might be a good one." And of course, she wasn't aborted, in the end.
[User Picture]
From:fledgist
Date:November 3rd, 2008 11:47 am (UTC)
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Holes in the universe? *Sigh*
[User Picture]
From:mjlayman
Date:November 3rd, 2008 10:49 pm (UTC)
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I think Rick just had too much comparison to me and felt he needed a girlfriend/wife where he could be the smart one, the one to make decisions. I used to kick Rick under the table when he rolled his eyes at her, or made comments about her, but now the kids are rolling their eyes and there's no use in kicking all of them.
From:etumukutenyak
Date:November 3rd, 2008 02:30 pm (UTC)
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..and all those thousands of naturally aborted damaged embryos and fetuses wouldn't cause any holes in the universe, because Mother Nature can tell the difference.

(/sarcasm)
[User Picture]
From:mjlayman
Date:November 3rd, 2008 10:50 pm (UTC)
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Of course! I decided not to bring that up, I was trying to find a way to stop it anyway, and then the check came!
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