If you rely on other people to make you happy your happiness will be unreliable.
Being bored is not the same as being restless.
Courage is the ability to move ahead in spite of our fear.
If I knew, I would tell you.
You can’t burn bridges that were never built.
I’m fine except for the moments I am not.
I am sorry I’m late but I didn’t want to come.
Statistics are more than numbers when they are your friends.
Like Sisyphus, we are all rolling rocks up the hill. However, some people are rolling pebbles, some boulders, and some mountains. And yet others are rolling piles of shit while telling everyone else it is gold.
Some days I just can’t. And that is okay.
It only takes one asshole to ruin the party.
You can’t wring your hands and roll up your sleeves at the same time.
I have plenty to do. I just don’t want to do any of it.
You can’t give more than you have.
Sometimes I miss my parents. Other times I worry they will come for a visit.
There are the things you want to do and the things you need to do. Sometimes they actually intersect.
You can hide in your house or you can hang out with people and get sick.
Going maskless is not freedom. Living is.
I didn’t say you were stupid. I implied it.
Two in the hand is worth washing them. For 20 seconds. Less work, more art.
What doesn’t kill you makes you really pissed off.
I don’t hate you as much as I hate myself.
We didn’t need a god to create hell. We did that all on our own.
Everyone wants to be self employed until they realize they still hate their boss.
Less sleep, more snuggles.
I would explain logic to you, but you are obviously an asshat and not worthy of my time.
You can’t always paddle your way out of the storm. Sometimes you just have to ride through it.
I am sorry life handed you a poop sandwich when you obviously ordered the salad.
No. I can’t always get what I want. But if I ordered it and paid for it I should fucking get it.
Bad systems ruin good people.
Let’s be alone together.
You can count on an asshole to be an asshole.
Every day is another opportunity to revisit each one of the seven stages of grief.
If I only cry once per day, that is a pretty good accomplishment right now.
The weirdest thing about today was that it felt almost normal.
A haircut is not going to fix what’s wrong with you.
Today is the first day of the rest of pandemic.
If we weren’t under shelter-in-place I would bitch slap the fuck out of the next person to publicly claim how happy they are and that this time at home was exactly what they needed.
I respect your right to a different opinion; however, I don’t respect your right to be a myopic asshat.
Bringing a knife to a gun fight is like bringing penicillin to a viral infection.
Top thing to do during shelter-in-place: Not die.
I would like you better if you whined with me instead of at me.
Give yourself credit for what you are accomplishing right now rather than hating on yourself for what you are not.
I’m not needy, I’m wanty.
Let’s be damaged together.
We are in the midst of a pandemic and I succeeded by only crying once today. Or maybe twice. Three times? Anyway, I still fucking succeeded.
The more you know what you are doing, the more you can do what you want.
Don’t hate people, hate the virus… And the monsters that masquerade as people.
Black lives matter and if you don’t understand that, you are racist.
In difficult times, you move forward in small steps.
The time will come when you can think about the future without crying.
So, I did a thing over the weekend. It is not anything I ever anticipated doing. It isn’t anything I ever thought I would do. I never really wanted to do it. But, then I did. I did it.
And what was it that I did? You may well ask. And I may well tell you.
Enough of the an……….tici……………….pation…………………………………… Isn’t it?
Please forgive me. I haven’t written in months because why would I? (I mean of course I could, but since my newsletters and musings are really a way to try to get interest and get asses in seats at shows and there haven’t been any of those…well, I haven’t really been very motivated.) Oh, and I AM a TEASE. Because burlesque artiste… but, whatever.
Okay – so I will tell you. Done teasing. At least for now. More teasing to come later.
So, what I did is……. I filmed a burlesque act.
I can hear you now. “So, fucking what, Red Velvet?” I can hear it come out of your mouth. Along with, “You film all the damn time. You film choreo in progress, you film rehearsals. You film every fucking show. So what is the big fucking deal already?”
But it is a big deal. Because I never wanted, planned, or anticipated filming a burlesque act for show consumption in my fucking house. I never imagined trying to instill production values in a video that would be in my personal space with my furniture, my lighting, my space, and send it to someone for a production. I never thought I would be dancing “on stage” in my own home. So, that is why it was a big deal.
I have done a couple of things since we went into shelter-in-place. One of my students did an early quarantine show and asked me to participate. And I said yes. But I didn’t feel like dancing. I was depressed and we were in a very passionate battle (still in said battle) with mice trying to take over my home. So, I read a story… “How the Trump Stole Feminism,” based on “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” Not a new story, but my own parody. Mine to read. And it was fun. But I wasn’t ready to dance. Nor strip. In my house. During a pandemic. Nope. Nope. Nope.
So, what changed? Time… that changed. We were in shelter-in-place for a month, now two, then three. And who knows when theaters will be allowed to open again or what that will look like. And then, the penultimate reason…. The theater I work with decided to do a June fundraiser. And they wanted me to do a number in it… Oh, gee. I guess I have to get my ass in gear and do something. (sigh, anxiety, and then the wheels started churning….)
… Okay – so, now what? I thought. And I started thinking. And she thought, and she thought, and she thought, thought, thought, thought (Grinch reference, sorry.) And while I was pondering this performing thing, I decided, what the hell. What else is happening? Not a lot of productions right now, but someone was taking applications for a show, so I applied. And I got accepted. Okay – now how to make this work….
So, I played with space. I played with lighting. I played with camera angles and positioning. And let me tell you – those things are not the easiest in a Victorian home with tiny rooms and lots of stuff. But, I worked it out. And I came up with a recording that has decent production values and I don’t actually hate. Yay me! You can see it (if you pay money and watch) at Name That Song-lesque on May 30th. You can purchase tickets at elliequinnpresents.square.site.
And I am working on two other numbers right now, one of which I will be performing for The EXIT Theatre Online Fundraiser. Those two numbers actually feature rooms in my home. Because if you can’t fix it, feature it….(at least that is what the burlesque legends have taught me.) The fundraiser happens June the 14th. You can find out more about the fundraiser or donate money (the EXIT Theatre is a 501(3)(c) non profit organization) at www.theexit.org.
So, I won’t see you at either show, but YOU – you CAN see me… If you choose to do so. But, it WILL be a TEASE! (Burlesque – you should know that by now…)
Looking forward to when I can actually see you in person and hopefully give you a hug. My introverted self misses people so much (mostly hugs and applause, but those are REAL!!).
Much love – Red Velvet
Don’t wait until your death bed to tell people how you feel. Tell them to fuck off right now.
Doing the best we can do is all we can do.
Life is generally good, but that doesn’t mean that every day is good.
The best part of the relationship is when they wave from more than 6 feet away after they leave the package on your doorstep.
Our current regime’s motto might as well be: “All for some and none for all.”
Real mice are not as cute as cartoon mice.
Just apologize already.
I now believe that the apocalypse is going to come while most of us are sitting at home in our underwear.
A stopped clock is correct twice a day, but a sundial can be used to stab someone, even at nighttime.
Some days my agenda is to be fabulous. Other days my agenda is to try not to cry into my cereal at breakfast.
Shelter-in-place is now. Death is forever.
No, I am not loving this.
If now is not the time for truth, when is?
Less is more. But more is also more.
You can fight and cry at the same time.
The truth will out, but only if we look for it.
It’s okay if you are not at your best right now.
Is it a robe or a dress? Who fucking cares?
If I could go back in time, I would have bought a lot more duct tape and taped a lot more people’s mouths shut when I had the chance.
If you thought you were perfect you would be farther from perfection than you are now.
Sometimes you need a distraction from your distraction.
If this is the new normal, it sucks ass.
If I could clone Jiminy Cricket, I would send one to each Republican senator. Maybe they, too, could become human.
If you never try, you never fail, but you never succeed either.
Everybody has a secret. Some people are better at hiding them than others.
Every day I arrive at work with good intentions and a great attitude and then idiots happen.
Let us work to ensure that white men (and women) do not always take the best of this world for themselves alone.
Money doesn’t buy everything. Unless you are a Republican.
There is no way to win and many ways to lose.
Let your willpower be like water. Strong and powerful sometimes, trickling through cracks other times, but continuing pursuit to its destination.
Fear is not the same as respect.
You always have a valentine if you just love yourself.
Shove it up your daddy.
The stage manager may not always be right, but they probably know more than you do.
No. I didn’t wear my big girl panties today. I went commando.
Inaction has a quantifiable cost.
Don’t be afraid to eat alone.
I am too busy to tell you how busy I am.
You can’t give a fuck about everything.
Lipstick can’t solve problems, but it doesn’t hurt.
If you tell me that you want me to be empowered, but then take away aspects of my power, I am going to stop believing in you.
There are times you just have to call out the bullshit.
I am glad you are okay. That doesn’t mean everyone else is.
Everyone is an asshat sometimes. Don’t be an asshat all the time.
Stop asking questions if you are not willing to hear the answers.
The best way out is through.
Life is like a box of chocolates. I hate chocolate.
Sometimes you are so busy being everyone else’s anchor that you fail to see that you are drowning.
I didn’t come this far to only come this far.
Note: You may notice that some of my proverb for the day months do not have a proverb for every day of the month. That is because life, and busy, and stress, and sometimes things just don’t happen. This January is particularly short. I would apologize, but I do that for a lot of things that are more important than this. It’s just the way it is sometimes.
The best reason to say “no” is to retain your sanity.
If you don’t fuck up at least once a day, you aren’t trying hard enough.
My heart is black, except for the chewy red center.
I didn’t do it all, but I did some.
If you can’t be wild and free, be wild and expensive.
You don’t have to feel like shit, but you have a right to feel however you feel.
If you are feeling broken, do not seek out and break others. Instead, seek those who help strengthen and repair you.
It’s like my mom said, “what the fuck is wrong with you?”
Be the stiletto in a room full of flats.
If all animals were unicorns we would eat them.
Watering a rock doesn’t make it soft.
The older I get, the more everyone can kiss my ass.
Try being informed instead of just opinionated.
There’s always room for jello.
Be careful whose toes you step on today. They may be connected to the foot that kicks your ass tomorrow.
Lying by omission is still lying.
I had time to do ten things today. The only problem was I needed to do twenty.
True friends are not the ones who make your problems disappear. They are the ones that don’t disappear when you have problems.
Despair is a valid emotion. And then at some point you need to pick yourself up and figure out how you are going to make it through the next day. And the one after that.
Yes, I have a dark side. I also have a dork side.
When you take numbers that are crap and put them into a pretty report, it just becomes pretty crap.
I had a lot of stuff to do yesterday. Now I have a lot of stuff to do today.
If you believe it, it’s not a lie.
Some days I just can’t.
When you are out of spoons, see if there is someone who can lend you a fork.
I would wish everyone could be like a dog, but I don’t like all dogs, so I am sure it wouldn’t really change anything. I know a little more about it than the average person because the average person is a moron.
I could get more done if I had time to organize everything, but I don’t have time to do that.
Never dumb it down. Make them come up and get it.
My alone time is for everyone’s safety.
In my defense, I was left unsupervised.
Committing unethical actions is only troublesome for ethical people.
I am sorry I upset you. I will try not to be right next time.
Be a product of your decisions, not your circumstances.
I like my clothes black. Like my heart.
Fear is a liar.
Tomorrow is a mythical land where everything I need to do is done.
What doesn’t kill you gives you an unhealthy set of coping mechanisms and a dark sense of humor.
Everything’s personal if you’re a person.
On this Christmas, let’s try not to hate people in Jesus’ name.
There’s no place like home.
Just because you believe it will happen does not mean it will actually happen.
Compromise does not mean cowardice.
The answer to the question “can people really be that stupid?” Is always “yes.”
So, some people are doing a “what I accomplished in the decade,” but my brain can’t wrap itself around that. I mean, there is just so much that happened in a ten-year period that processing all of it would be difficult. So I am going to address 2019.
It was a busy year with a lot of great experiences and some really difficult ones. To follow in the footsteps of Kellita, I am going to write about my 5 top accomplishments in 2019 and the 5 things I got through in 2019. Then I am going to add a step and talk about five things I am looking forward to in 2020.
So, first, accomplishments, things I am proud of doing.
1) Dollhouse Monsters – This was big. A 2.5 hour show that I co-created with Lady Malavendra and Dee O’s Mio; co-wrote with Mr. Velvet; directed, choreographed, and costumed. It was a lot of work. This was different (they have all been pretty different) than the other theatrical burlesque shows I have co-created, but I think we achieved a lot with this show and I wish more people had seen it. I am proud of what we created, I am proud of what we accomplished. I also did it all without any nervous breakdowns, which was pretty fucking amazing.
2) Creating a new act for Golden Legends Champion Challenge (GLCC) – So, what? You created a new act… you do that all the time. Yes, but I got accepted to the GLCC after we were in full swing of rehearsals and prep for Dollhouse Monsters. And, AFTER I accepted, I was informed that we had to create a new act for GLCC, an act never performed at another festival and not to be performed in any public venue until the festival. So, I created a new act and completely new costuming for that act in the midst of everything I had to do for Dollhouse Monsters (oh, and my full time job, too.) The GLCC was in mid-August after we opened the show in the second weekend in July and we were off to London for almost two weeks only two days after we closed Dollhouse Monsters, so I was rehearsing for GLCC at the theater on days we weren’t performing. I planned my costuming really well between GLCC and Dollhouse and finished my costume (except embellishment) for GLCC before we opened for Dollhouse. I managed to make a lined coat with diamond pattern (which actually lined up pretty amazingly), made a set of fur chaps, designed a harness, sewed a super long glove, rhinestoned a large red dildo, and rhinestoned a hat, chaps, bra and panties, gloves, gum (cigarette) case, and shoes. Because it all had to be done. It was not the act I probably should have done for this event, because legends and funny and no comedic award, but fuck it. I did it and I got it done, and there you go.
3) International travel – I went to Panama for the Panama Burlesque Festival and to London for the International Isadora Duncan Dance Symposium. Both were great trips, and I managed to navigate both countries pretty well, although I am thankful for the burlesque attendees (especially Jynx Merlot) who spoke Spanish and translated stuff for me in Panama. London was a better trip because it was fucking hot for London, but I was not sweating non-stop like I did in Panama, and because Mr. Velvet went with me. I did a great job at both events and taught classes and did a dance presentation in London despite have little preparation time (see discussion on Dollhouse Monsters and GLCC.) Even better, in London I learned that what I presented at a previous Symposium (Using Duncan Dance in Burlesque Demonstration) positively impacted someone to the point that they did a presentation in London because of what I had done in a prior year. Oh, and I also danced at Covent Garden (impromptu), but it was fun.
4) I put together nine monthly DIVA or Die shows and the second annual Burlesque Extravaganza in addition to putting on Dollhouse Monsters. Yes, it was a lot. And I am saying it because I don’t often give myself credit for doing the stuff that other people do not always do.
5) I won Judges Choice at the Arizona Burlesque Festival. Even more important is that I learned (am learning – because I think this is something I am going to have to re-visit several times), that just because an act is not new doesn’t mean that it isn’t good. And just because I have grown as a performer (and I have) doesn’t mean that what I created before is not worthy. It is.
Things I got through in 2019… There were a lot of them. But, tops are…
1) Dollhouse Monsters – There were a lot of moments of doubt, moments of dealing with the cast, moments of being a bitch. Being the director in this show made me realize that there are people I can turn to, but at the end of the day, I am responsible and it is my decision. And I did made decisions. Sometimes they were not popular. I also learned that people do not have the same work ethic or expectations that I do. Hence, the creation of more specific scheduling. But, I got through it and (as I said above) I didn’t have a nervous breakdown.
2) Stopping taking birth control pills (and then taking hormones to replace it)… So, in January, because I turned 50, I went off the pill. I have taken the pill since I was 18 years old with the exception of one year where the doctor took me off the pill to and experimented to see if it would help my migraines. It didn’t. The first month off the pill was fine. And then I started feeling haggard. My face looked haggard. My skin looked like sandpaper. My tits were saggy (yes, they are saggy anyway, but they were saggier.) But the worst was the pain. I got joint pain. It felt like every joint in my body was swollen. Like they didn’t fit in the space they were supposed to fit it. They all hurt. All the time. Like, they would hurt more if I did things, like kneeled on the floor. But I could still do all the things. But it hurt. And pain pills did nothing. Was this menopause? No one every said anything about fucking joint pain!! WTF?!? And, in desperation, I had some birth control left, so I took it. And less than 24 hours later, my joints felt fine again. Luckily, I go to a doctor for my migraines who specializes in hormones. (Dr. Liz Lyster, if you need a recommendation.) She confirmed that joint paint is a symptom (not a common one) of menopause and put me on hormones. After a couple of adjustments I am doing much better. Whew!
3) In September I had my co-artistic director “retire.” By email. While I was at a festival. It felt like a bad breakup… I cried a lot. And then I got through it. I have people who want to help me with the show. We are still friends. I could say more, but I am not going to right now.
4) Travel. I love travel and I hate travel. I travel a lot. Some of it really sucked. In 2019 I went to Oahu, Hawaii (for a total of five weeks over two different trips); Panama; Portland, Oregon; Washington, D.C.; Austin, TX; Palmdale, CA; Los Angeles, CA; London, England; St. Petersburg, FL; Albuquerque, NM; Tucson, AZ, and Seattle, WA. Some trips were good, some more stressful than others. Weather delays, delayed flights, cramped airplanes, a drive down to So Cal that took 8 hours instead of the normal 6 because of traffic and then the drive home that took 14 hours because of a closure on 5 due to snow and horrible, horrible traffic. The 14-hour trip was a nightmare and there were moments I thought I would never make it home. Also, of all of these trips there was not a single one that was purely a vacation. While some of the trips were awesome (I love London), every trip last year was work, dance, or family related. I did all of 2019 without any pure re-charge vacation time.
5) Lots and lots of administration (work and burlesque) There is a constant spate of administration, but it does make things in the long run better when you are organized and take care of the shit that needs care. And all of it needs care by someone. Even the things you love have moments that you don’t.
So, yay me for getting through the things that still allowed me to accomplish the other things. Yay!
I would also like to add 5 things I am looking forward to accomplishing in 2020. There is already a lot here, and this is just through the beginning of June. I am really cutting back on festival applications (at least through the beginning of June) because I really don’t want to be totally stressed out (maniacal laughter) and am going to try to say “no” more in 2020. Sometimes saying no is really saying no to myself and no to saying things I want to do or I am afraid not to do or I am afraid people will not like me if I don’t do them or just FOMO.
1) A Rebel without a Bra re-do for the Fresno Rogue Festival – We are bringing a shortened version of Rebel without a Bra to the Rogue Festival for the first two weekends in March 2020.
2) Third Annual Burlesque Extravaganza – I hope year three will be equally wonderful (or even better than) our last two years – this will take place the third weekend in March 2020.
3) Course Coordinator for the Great Burlesque Expo – The Expo took a hiatus last year and I was course coordinator for the two Expos before that. This year they are moving from Boston to Salem, MA, so it should be fun!
4) Choreographer for a production of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. I am excited about this. It is the first time that I have choreographed a mainstream (can I call it that?) production. It is the first time I have choreographed a whole production that is not my show and I am not in. I am excited and honored and also a little big nervous… (this is a bawdy show and I do burlesque – HOW BAWDY CAN I GO?????)
5) A real vacation with Mr. Velvet for a week in Maui. I already have one real vacation planned with Mr. Velvet for 2020. This one is after the Burlesque Extravaganza and before the Burlesque Expo. I am going to need it. I will probably need at least one more in 2020 and hope to schedule another JUST A VACATION. I love dance, but it is not the same as JUST A VACATION!
So, that is my retrospective on 2019. At least for now. I may retrospect my life a bit more later, but this is what I have available at the moment, so this is what you get.
Hope you have a great 2020! Happy New Year!
I drafted this December 2016 after Trump won the electoral vote for President. And I only realized that I never (apparently, because I can’t find it) posted it to my blog. So, here it is…
How the Trump Stole Feminism
By Nasty Velvet
Every Her down in Her-ville liked feminism a lot…
But the Trump, who lived just north of Her-ville, Did NOT!
The Trump hated feminists! The whole feminist reason!
In his white male mind, women in control was treason.
It could be, his head wasn’t screwed on just right.
It could be, perhaps, that his shoes were too tight.
But I think that the most likely reason of all
May have been that his brain was two sizes too small.
But whatever the reason, his brain or his shoes,
He stood there on inauguration eve, hating the Hers,
Staring down from his penthouse with a sour Trumpy frown
At the warm lighted windows below in Her-town.
For he knew every Her down in Her-ville below
Was planning a feminist march, just for show.
“And they’re wearing their pantsuits!” he snarled with a sneer.
“Tomorrow I’m inaugurated! It’s practically here.”
Then he growled with his orange fingers nervously drumming.
“I MUST find some way to stop feminists from coming!”
For tomorrow he knew all the Hers and Her-Allies
Would wake bright and early and rush for their rallies.
And then, Oh, the noise! Oh, the Noise! Noise! Noise! Noise!
That’s one thing he hated! The NOISE! NOISE! NOISE! NOISE!
Then the Hers, young and old, would sit down and speech
And they’d speech! And they’d speech! And they’d SPEECH! SPEECH! SPEECH! SPEECH!
They would speech on Her-rights and more on Her-equalities,
When Trump only wanted to know “Were there Hotties!?!”
And then they’d do something he liked least of all.
Every Her down in Her-ville, the tall and the small
Would stand close together with guitars and bells ringing.
They’d stand, hand-in-hand and the Hers would start singing.
They’d sing! And they’d sing!
AND they’d SING! SING! SING! SING!
And the more that Trump thought of this feminist sing,
The more that Trump thought, “I must stop this whole thing!”
“Why for so many years I’ve put up with it now!
I MUST stop these feminists from coming! … But HOW?”
Then he got an idea! An awful idea!
The Trump got a bad hombre awful idea.
“I know just what to do!” The Trump laughed in his throat.
And he made a quick Abe Lincoln hat and a coat.
And he chuckled and clucked “What a great escapade!
With the coat and this hat I look like old Honest Abe!”
“All I need is a horse…” And Trump looked around.
But, since he was in a penthouse, there was none to be found.
Did that stop old Trump? No! The Trump simply said,
“If I can’t find a horse, I will make one instead!”
So he called VP Pence, grabbed a mop with a strut
And he tied a mop tail to the crown of Pence’s butt.
Then he loaded some bags and some stockings he’d rinsed
On a huge roller suitcase that he hitched up to Pence.
Then the Trump said, “Giddap!” The Roller bag started down
Toward the homes where the Hers lay a snooze in Her-town.
All their windows were dark. Quiet snow filled the air.
All the Hers were all dreaming about women who dare.
When he came to the first little house on the square.
“This is stop number one,” the old Trumpy Abe hissed.
And he climbed to the roof, empty bags in his fist.
Then he slid down the chimney, rather tight for the grump.
But in Abe’s stove pipe hat it seemed fitting, thought Trump.
He got stuck only once for a moment or two
Then he stuck his head out of the fireplace flue.
He saw little Her-pantsuits lined up in a row.
“Those pantsuits,” Trump grinned, “are the first things to go!”
Then he slithered and slunk with a smile most unpleasant
Around the small house which befitted a peasant.
He took everything he thought Hers found essential!
High heels! Dresses! Curlers and bath oil!
Then he stuffed them in bags, then the Trump, very numbly,
Stuffed all the bags one-by-one up the chumbly.
He slunk to the bathroom. He took the Hers blush.
He put all the birth control in the toilet to flush.
He cleaned out that bathroom as quick as a flash.
Why that Trump even took the last bit of bath splash.
Then he stuffed all that goop up the chimney unseen.
“And now!” grinned the Trump, “I’ll take the washing machine!”
The Trump grabbed the machine and he started to shove
When he heard a small sound like the coo of a dove.
He turned around fast and he saw a small Her!
Little Jennifer-Her who was two and demure.
The Trump had been caught by this tiny Her daughter
Who’d got out of bed for a cup of cold water.
She stared at the Trump and said “Honest Abe, why?
Why are you taking our washing machine? WHY?”
But you know that old Trump was so twisted and sick
He thought up a lie and he thought it up quick.
“Why my sweet little tot,” the fake Abe Lincoln lied,
“There’s a buzz on this machine that won’t buzz on one side.
So I’m taking it out to a repair shop, my dear.
They will fix it up there. Then I’ll bring it back here.”
And his fib fooled the child. Then he patted her head
And he got her a drink and he sent her to bed.
And when Jennifer-Her went to bed with her cup.
He took the machine to the chimney and up.
Then the last thing he took was a pencil for writing.
He felt they’d have nothing and in that was delighting.
The one speck of hair spray that he left in the house
Was a tad too tiny to style the bangs on a mouse.
Then he did the same thing to the other Her houses
Leaving hairs spray too little for the other Her mouses.
It was a quarter past dawn… all the Hers, still a-bed
All the Hers, still a-snooze as he piled stuff up to Pence’s head.
Packed the suitcase with their pantsuits! The lipstick! The hairspray!
The birth control pills that the women took each day!
Thirty-three flights up on the glass elevator
He rode to his penthouse, feeling like a savior.
“Pooh-Pooh to the Hers!” he was Trump-ishly humming.
“They’re finding out now that no women are coming!”
“They’re just waking up! I know just what they’ll do!”
“Their mouths will hang open a minute or two
Then the Hers down in Her-ville will all cry BOO-HOO!”
“That’s a noise,” grinned the Trump,
“That I simply MUST hear!”
So he paused. And the Trump put a hand to his ear.
And he did hear a sound rising over the snow.
It started in low. Then it started to grow…
But the sound wasn’t sad!
Why this sound was EMPOWERING!
It couldn’t be so!
Hers should be crying and cowering!
He stared down at Her-ville! The Trump popped his eyes!
Then he shook! What he saw was a shocking surprise!
Every Her down in Her-ville, the tall and the small,
Was singing! Without any pantsuits at all!
He HADN’T stopped feminism from coming!
IT CAME! Somehow or other, it came just the same!
And the Trump, with his Trump hair flying to and fro,
Stood puzzling and puzzling: “How could it be so?”
“It came without pantsuits! It came without hairspray!
It came without birth control pills Hers took each day!”
And he puzzled three hours, ‘til his puzzler was sore.
Then the Trump thought of something he hadn’t before!
“Maybe feminism,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a suit.
Maybe feminism… perhaps… could there be more to it?”
And what happened then? … Well, in Her-ville they say
That the Trump’s hombre balls Shrunk three sizes that day!
And the minute his pants didn’t feel quite so tight,
He worried about his own four-year plight.
He was not prepared for the presidential stress.
He worried about how he’d manage this mess,
One he was unprepared to handle… if he… HE HIMSELF…!
The Trump must confess!
The little girl came into her papa’s study, as she always did Saturday morning before breakfast, and asked for a story. He tried to beg off that morning, for he was very busy, but she would not let him. So he began:
“Well, once there was a little pig–”
She stopped him at the word. She said she had heard little pig-stories till she was perfectly sick of them.
“Well, what kind of story shall I tell, then?”
“About Giving. And presents! It’s getting to be the holiday season.”
“Well!” Her papa roused himself. “Then I’ll tell you about the little girl that wanted presents every day in the year. How would you like that?”
“First-rate!” said the little girl; and she nestled into comfortable shape in his lap, ready for listening.
“Very well, then, this little pig–Oh, what are you pounding me for?”
“Because you said little pig instead of little girl.”
“I should like to know what’s the difference between a little pig and a little girl that wanted presents every day!”
“Papa!” said the little girl warningly. At this her papa began to tell the story.
Once there was a little girl who liked presents so much that she wanted presents and giving every day in the year, and as soon as Thanksgiving was over she began to send postcards to the White House asking if we could make every day a Giving Day, to ask if she mightn’t have more presents. But the White House never answered, and after a while the little girl found out that the White House wouldn’t notice anything but real letters sealed outside with a monogram–or your initial, anyway. So, then, she began to send letters, and just the day before Christmas, she got a letter from the White House, saying she might have Giving every day for a year, and then they would see about having it longer.
The little girl was excited already, preparing for the old-fashioned, once-a-year Christmas and all the presents that came with it – the giving day – that was coming the next day. So she resolved to keep the White House’s promise to herself and surprise everybody with it as it kept coming true, but then it slipped out of her mind altogether.
She had a splendid Christmas. She went to bed early, so as to let Santa Claus fill the stockings, and in the morning she was up the first of anybody and found hers all lumpy with packages of candy, and oranges and grapes, and rubber balls, and all kinds of small presents. Then she waited until the rest of the family was up, and she burst into the library to look at the large presents laid out on the library table–books, and boxes of stationery, and dolls, and little stoves, and dozens of handkerchiefs, and inkstands, and skates, and photograph frames, and boxes of watercolors, and dolls’ houses–and the big Christmas tree, lighted and standing in the middle.
She had a splendid Christmas all day. She ate so much candy that she did not want any breakfast, and the whole forenoon the presents kept pouring in that had not been delivered the night before, and she went round giving the presents she had got for other people, and came home and ate turkey and cranberry for dinner, and plum pudding and nuts and raisins and oranges, and then went out and coasted, and came in with a stomachache crying, and her papa said he would see if his house was turned into that sort of fool’s paradise another year, and they had a light supper, and pretty early everybody went to bed cross.
The little girl slept very heavily and very late, but she was wakened at last by the sound of her parents complaining and yelling in the kitchen. She got out of bed and sleepily stumbled into the kitchen. Her dad was angrily flipping through the paper while her mother was bent over the table with her forehead cradled in her hands.
“This is too much!” said the father.
“What? Said the little little girl.
“Nothing. It’s fine.” Said the mother as she looked up with red-rimmed eyes.
“No, she should know,” said the father. And he proceeded to tell her that they were not going to work that day because the White House had not approved the budget and so they wouldn’t get paid and they had no way to pay for their rent, and food, and all the Christmas presents everyone just got the day before if they couldn’t go to work and make money.
And the little girl was surprised, because she remembered it was supposed to be Giving Day all year long and this didn’t seem like Giving Day to her. But her parents were upset and she thought it might not be the best time to ask for more gifts since they were worried about paying for the ones she had already gotten.
And then later, they watched the news. The news talked about all of the people out of work because the budget was not approved. And it talked about closures of national parks and national museums, and government offices. And then they talked about tax cuts for billionaires. And they talked about people, families, crossing the border into our country and being detained and separated from their families and put in detention centers. And they talked about the White House building a wall to keep those people, who wanted to make a better life for themselves, out of the country. And the little girl was worried, because there weren’t any presents for her and this didn’t sound like any giving that she had ever heard of.
Now, the next day, it was the same thing over again. And there was even more. News about children being separated from their parents, about children dying in detention centers, about protected habitats being destroyed to build a wall to keep people out. There was talk about how transgender and gay rights were being taken away, and about overturning laws and overturning Supreme Court rulings that seemed to be designed to protect people. Was this giving? She still wasn’t getting any gifts.
By the end of the day everybody was getting crosser, and at the end of a week’s time so many people had lost their tempers that you could pick up lost tempers anywhere, they perfectly strewed the ground. Even when people tried to recover their tempers they usually got somebody else’s, and it made the most dreadful mix.
The little girl began to get frightened, keeping the secret all to herself, she wanted to tell her mother, but she didn’t dare to, and she was ashamed to ask the White House about the Giving Day gift, it seemed ungrateful and ill-bred. So it went on and on. Even when a budget was approved and people finally went back to work, rights were still trampled. Court judges were appointed who had no experience. People’s rights were being taken away or minimized or dismissed as unimportant. Health insurance, food stamps, and other safety nets for the most vulnerable in the communities were being taken away to balance a budget that was put out of balance to give billionaires tax breaks. Racism continued and even seemed to get worse. Blacks, Hispanics, Muslims continued to be harassed and killed. There were also responses of people who were going on shooting rampages and killing innocent people in public places. It didn’t seem like Giving Day at all.
The little girl had hidden the letter from the White House away, but she was so confused that she pulled it out to look at it. And there it said it in black and white – Giving Day for a year. But, where was the giving? None of this seemed like giving to her.
After it had gone on about three or four months, the little girl, whenever she came into the room and the news was on the television and the bad things that they said were happening, she used to sit down and burst out crying. In six months she was perfectly exhausted, she couldn’t even cry anymore.
About the beginning of October the little girl was so depressed. She didn’t want any gifts anymore. She just wanted people to be treated okay. She just wanted to see people be happy again. Everyone was so depressed and so angry. This is not what giving should look like.
Before Thanksgiving came it had leaked out that it was supposed to be Giving Day. The little girl had suffered so much that she had talked about it in her sleep. People were confused and either shunned her or yelled at her asking her how she thought this could possibly be giving? What kind of person was she if this was supposed to be Giving Day? After that hardly anybody would play with her, because if it had not been for her greediness in wanting more presents, maybe this awful awful thing wouldn’t have happened.
And now, when it came Thanksgiving, and she wanted them to have turkey, and show their gratitude, they said that they couldn’t afford to buy a turkey because their taxes were now so high, and if she could turn things back to normal, they would see about the gratitude. And the very next day the little girl began sending letters to the White House, and then telegrams, to stop it. But it didn’t do any good, and then she got to phoning the White House, but the answering machine would come on or say, “Not at home,” or “Engaged,” or something like that. And so it went on till it came to the old once-a-year Christmas Eve. The little girl fell asleep, and when she woke up in the morning–
“She found it was all nothing but a dream,” suggested the little girl.
“No indeed!” said her papa. “It was all every bit true!”
“What did she find out, then?”‘
“Why, that it wasn’t Christmas at last, and there wasn’t ever going to be a giving day ever again, anymore. Now it’s time for breakfast.”
The little girl held her papa fast around the neck.
“You shan’t go if you’re going to leave it so!”
“All right,” said her papa, and he went on again.
Well, they made it through Christmas with no presents and no giving. And there was only one mass shooting that day, which wasn’t as bad as sometimes. Then, the next day the little girl read in the paper that the White House was going to be appearing at a rally to speak on behalf of their reelection campaign. And the little girl decided that maybe she could go to the rally and talk to the White House and find out what was happening with Giving Day and why there wasn’t actually any giving happening.
So, she went to the rally and being small, and being a child, and looking harmless (which she was) she got very close to the White House with the letter she had received now over a year ago clutched in her sweaty little hands. And she asked the White House, “but, why, Mr. President, why?” “Why did you promise us Giving Day? There has been no giving. Only taking. Lots and lots of taking.” And she looked up at the President with tears streaming down her face.
And the President looked down at her and said, “Well, but it has been Giving Day! Every day is Giving Day and every day will continue to be Giving Day. Giving to me! Giving to my friends! Giving to my supporters! We have all been receiving the giving. I love all the great giving! And we are going to continue to be receiving great giving. This was such a bigly idea of mine to be getting the giving every day! No one has such great bigly ideas on giving like the ones I have. Such great giving.”
“Papa!” The little girl interrupted, “I thought you weren’t going to tell stories about any little pigs!”
“But, I didn’t,” said her papa. “This one is a very big orange pig!”
“Well, okay. But what happens next? Do things get better? Does Giving Day stop?”
“I don’t know, yet,” said her papa. “It depends on Congress. It depends on the voters in the next election. It depends on whether people really care. It depends on whether people want to stop getting and focus on actually giving for a change. It depends on a lot of things. But I have hope.”
I hope you do, too. Happy Holidays and wishing you an unselfish and fulfilling 2020.