Month: September 2014

Gunman on the loose? Clearly you know everything, oh, grocery bagger.

Humans are funny, aren’t they?  They know everything and nothing at the same time.  Right now there is a massive manhunt going on in my area; a local man gunned down two PA State Troopers, one of whom died at the scene.  As we enter day six in the midst of night six, lots of social media is causing lots of problems. A recurring theme in each of my feeds is “friends” from all over asking advice of those of us in the thick of the news-moment.  Tonight, a Facebook pal asked our thoughts on shopping at the local outlet complex tomorrow.  I replied:

 

“Just my thoughts: There are police and SWAT everywhere. Thankfully they aren’t advertising locations and strategies. Our local guys are doing a FANTASTIC job of searching and advising the public. There are higher risk areas than others- don’t go hunting alone on hundreds of acres of woods, for example. Do not go looking for this guy in remote areas, trying to cash in.

I go to work. I walk through town. Tonight in my wooded development I still ran for 2.5 miles at dusk/in the dark. I wouldn’t go out alone now, but I will leave for work tomorrow.

I think you will be fine at the crossings tomorrow. Despite some “nudges” implying this will be like the DC Sniper, it won’t be. We don’t have that expanse of mall/parking area like Tyson’s Corners.

My last tidbit that I really don’t need flack for- – it seems that this suspect has a very specific agenda. I will not let theories dictate a mindful, safe approach to normalcy.

Go to the outlets. Keep your wits. Be safe. Stay involved with your kids and balanced in your community.

<3″

This is the reply I received, in my FB pal’s status/comment thread:

  • @ Juliet , I think your comment was a bit offensive to me. I’m not some paranoid crackpot ….. I get news firsthand at work since I’m a Federal Employee and I use caution that’s all

 

So….

Publicly I wrote, “I appreciate your candor, [Federal Employee].” Privately I messaged this individual:

 

Dear [COMMENTER],

While I’m not sure what offended you, it was not my intention. I offered, as stated, my opinion to the state of the manhunt on the Pocono Plateau. Further, your suggestion that I don’t know what’s going on gave me pause.

Facebook is a double-edged sword. There are terrific sources of information but there are far too many people posting as “authorities” when in fact they react viscerally. Their reactions are having a direct and profound NEGATIVE impact on the search for this psychopath. Ultimately, anyone (including FEDERAL EMPLOYEES) who are not first responders in the case and choose to proffer information to the public are a hindrance to the suspect’s apprehension.

I respect your decision to act with a heightened fear. My decision to act with confidence in law enforcement should not be cause in discounting my comment on a friend’s post. You certainly could have contacted me directly to engage in an intelligent dialogue.

Juliet

 

What do you think?

 

 

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To the sexy man I dated for two and a half years…

Dear Christopher,

A word of caution:  This is intended for the attractive, sexy man I dated for two and a half years (or so).  If he is gone, please disregard. I doubt I will send it to you. Perhaps if it is sent, it will never be read. It is probably a missive that shouldn’t be penned.   Alas, I’m lousy at the “should” and “should nots” of life.

You and our former relationship have been haunting me for quite a while.  In fact, I’ve been visited almost daily since April by memories or artifacts from our time together. It’s a bit strange: if I ponder what the universe is up to, I repeatedly arrive at two conclusions. My “hauntings” undoubtedly align with a major shift/change/decision in your life.  The two most obvious choices are 1) your dad dying and 2) taking the “next step” with your girlfriend.

So why am I inclined to torture us both with white space and questionable font choices? I don’t think I know for sure. I do know that every memory, emotion, and thought of you and “us” I’ve experienced over these five months really affected me.

If you’re actually reading this, I hope I’m not making you uncomfortable. I also hope that if you’re indulging this meander through the past, you know my intentions are pure: I’m grappling with the past (and perhaps a bit of the present) and want to honor it.

Some of the highlights of my recurring memories are of course movies (who knew I’d come to adore The Royal Tennenbaums so much!), songs (“Juliet” by LMNT was, of course, your find), and places. Sometimes they are filled with longing (I should have kept that CD of songs your friend Alex made you to challenge all of my “Juliet” songs), confusion (we really didn’t achieve a break up or closure, right?), and the occasional resentment (it’s impossible to be friends POST-relationship when we weren’t friends PRE-relationship). Some of the ghosts of our past surprise me- I’m preparing a monologue performance for my Gettysburg College Alumni Cabaret on 9/20.  I selected the piece, submitted it, and earned a spot in the program. As I rehearse it, I’m nearly paralyzed by…..drum-roll…..us. You helped me learn these lines twelve years ago in OCMD. The trips we were able to glean, no matter how short, boring, or unplanned are as meaningful to me as trips twelve times in length or to far more exotic locales. There is of course the issue of a super-soft, adorable teddy bear. The kids just don’t understand why they can’t play with or sleep with him. They get downright annoyed that Teddy Bear Christopher (remember that Christmas?!) is off-limits.

Almost every day of the past five months I’ve been able to vividly recall the thrill of seeing your phone number on my caller id. Your office number is still ingrained in my brain. Honestly, seeing your name on my iPhone screen still produces butterflies of glee. You’re one of my great loves, a fact that dazzles and saddens me in one swift gesture.

I adore the defining characteristics of our time together:

~it was all ours.

~it was honest. That seems a bizarre sentiment now.

~it was our best. It was our worst.

~it was easy.

~it was fun.  Really fun.  FUN.

~is was 100%. Weird to say since we clearly parted ways, right? I had have no qualms in giving you all of me and am honored to be someone you trusted with all of you.

~it was the perfect and most necessary event for each of us at a very specific point in time. I hope you feel that way, too.

 

This is a bit much. I’m sorry.

Hearing of your father’s passing was profound. I’m so sorry you lost him so suddenly and can only guess at the circumstances into which you were thrust. When a man has lived as honorably and genuinely as he did, the time never seems right. I certainly don’t have to offer a sentiment this obvious: your dad was a superior man. This is evidenced in everything he leaves behind, most of all YOU. You are an incredible man with an incredible heart, a fantastic mind, and an incomparable spirit. For a week after I heard (which was not timely; please forgive the delay in my condolences), all I wanted to do was whisk you away to the beach, wrap myself around you, and just let you BE- not be strong, not be the caretaker, not be the planner, not be the captain of the family ship….just be.

The worst part of this haunting has been nonsense that comes with overlapping circles of friends, a fact I’d hoped we’d be spared given our geographical incompatibility. In the thirteen years since we jumped into that pool, I haven’t heard nearly as many stories about you as I have since April. It is awful; you deserve better. In fact, what I want more than almost anything in the world is for you to have better- for you to have true and complete happiness.

I’m not writing for anything other than catharsis, I suppose. I love you. I love our past. I love having something that is all mine…us. I love sharing this golden nugget of a story with you. And I really love running into you. The miles between us are many so those few times we’ve happened upon each other have been fantastic. It’s almost as good as planning a job interview for a city in which you’re travelling for business and getting lost in the strangeness of an unfamiliar zip code for hours at a time. 🙂 The more challenging days since April were perhaps my impetus in writing today…

I’m getting too scattered…..

There are days I really (really, really, really, really) miss you. There are days I wish we’d had a more definitive parting. There are other days when I’d change nothing.

You’re a great man. I’m so glad to have you in my heart, I’m so fortunate to have had you in my life. I’m so sorry you lost your dad. I do hope this letter doesn’t alter the friendly texts we are able to enjoy in the present, because I do look forward to them. And if you’re up for a chance meeting and a cold beer…I’ll buy.

You’re my Christopher.

Wishing you only the best,

Juliet