Social Myopia


Gossip magazines – we’ve all seen them. Lined up at the checkout lane in the grocery store. Fanned out on tables at the dentist office. Mindless fodder, for passing the time while we wait for the interminably slow checker to scan lettuce, or for the dentist to call us in.

I admit that I’ve skimmed these volumes through myopic eyes while sitting at the hair stylist waiting for the miracle of hair color to occur. There I sit, with my hair smooshed into a style that would never make it into said magazine, except perhaps under the “worst hair ever” section. While deprived of my glasses, I sit squinting at the pics of perfectly coiffed celebrities in evening gowns, and trying to read the recommendations for the best new books and upcoming movies.

But recently I’ve gotten a better look at this drivel, and what I see worries me. I bought something online which awarded me a “free” subscription to one of the more prominent gossip magazines, so now I’m getting a chance to give it a closer look.  One recent headline reads “Ellen: How I finally found happiness.” This implies to me that Ellen must have been significantly unhappy and solved some insurmountable problem to “finally find happiness.” I’m thinking cancer, maybe an abusive relationship, or financial ruin. But, not to worry about Ellen, she is completely fine. Turns out the only unhappiness alluded to in the article was that before Ellen was famous, and before any of us ever heard of her, she was poor and lived on one can of soup a day. But, as she has been rich and famous for some time now, I doubt that one could say she just recently “finally” found happiness. The story goes on about her happy home relationship with her partner, her dogs, her career success, and more, so I am hard pressed to feel too badly for Ellen.

Another article is sure to draw much concern though. Turns out Kylie Jenner had a huge problem, in that “..I felt that no one wanted to kiss me.” Apparently, being beautiful and constantly in the spotlight was not enough. Kylie was so distressed she had to get LIP INJECTIONS. Yes, disturbing I know. Maybe now she will get almost as much attention as the other Kardashians, and finally get all the kisses she deserves.

Just in case you were worried about Gwen Stefani, you can now relax. Turns out that she now is “The happiest I’ve ever been.” Apparently there is happy, and celebrity happy. Rest assured, she has moved on from her heartbreak, and  “is in the next phase” and life has “more meaning and purpose” Whew.

I don’t mean to sound like a curmudgeonly fuddy-duddy, but somehow I remain unsympathetic to the sensationalized plights of celebrity. Sure there are famous people who do have serious problems: illness, financial ruin; family dysfunction; loss of loved ones and so on. I don’t mean to trivialize those who truly do experience the same distress that we ordinary people do throughout our lives, yet I wonder how we as a society have become so superficial that we need to elevate the minutia of celebrity life to the importance of news.

Maybe our penchant for mindless gossip and scandal, and even the glorification of it explains in some way our acceptance of the vapidity of our recent presidential contest. Shock – Donald Trump is a womanizing bigot. Shock – Crooked Hilary deleted emails! Frankly, I am shocked, shocked, not just by these insipid arguments,  gossip, and negative discourse of accusations  and lies, but by how low  as a nation we have sunk, that many believe that this is the norm for candidates vying to become  the leader of the free world.

(Disclaimer: Huffygirl’s Blog does not endorse any political candidates.)

© Huffygirl 2016

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Putting the garden to bed


When winter’s chill at last draws near,

I put away summer that is so dear,

snipping dead plants over there and here,

putting the garden to bed.

A gnarled old maple drops a  leaf,

spent Day Lilies wither in a sheaf,

hostas hide yellowed leaves underneath,

putting the garden to bed.

Bright mums and sedum get a reprieve,

while dimmed summer daisies must take their leave,

and dead grass into the bin I heave,

putting the garden to bed.

As you can see, I love summer. Summer is the time when I can let  inside work slide. Piano practice music gathers dust on the rack.  Shirts awaiting the iron form first a pile, then a bunker. Junk mail piles up. Knitting sits idle. But summer novels get read and reread on warm sunny beaches and long airplane rides. I walk miles on the beach, feeling clean white Michigan sand beneath my toes.  But perhaps my favorite day-to-day part of summer is the garden. From pulling away wet dead leaves in the spring to reveal brave shoots peaking up from the cold ground, to deadheading purple petunias and red geraniums, to watching iridescent hummingbirds sip from purple fuchsia, I enjoy it all. My gardening time is about new life, growth, death, and rebirth. Each year the cycle begins anew, fresh and full of promise. And as autumn slips in, it is also about putting it all to bed, with the promise of spring to bring it all back to me again.

© Huffygirl 2016

Photos and original poem by Huffygirl ©2016.