Shattering my serenity


It seems to me that those of us who have managed to survive the proverbial three score and 10 (plus another decade or so) should be enjoying a tranquil existence – you know, watching 50 year old TV show reruns, reading the obituaries to make sure we’re not in them, and eating whatever we wish regardless of what the health gurus say – and our digestive tract can still handle. We shouldn’t have our calm, serene days disturbed by events that somehow change our long-held perceptions about the world order – yet that’s exactly what happened recently.

I suppose some folks might figure the recent decision by the Supreme Court of The United States (or SCOTUS as they like to call themselves) that consenting adults, regardless of gender, have the constitutional right to marry might be the cause of my turmoil – but it wasn’t. Sure, this edict flies in the face of rituals and practices of untold generations of even the most primitive societies that marriage is a union between a man and a woman.

Today, however, in our “advanced” society, marriage is fast fading as “cohabitation” is taking its place. Cohabitation (what we used to call “shacking up”) is an arrangement where two people who are not married live together in a sexually intimate relationship. A new report shows just 23 per cent of women said they were married when they began living with their “partner.” Marriage? That’s not the modern, fashionable way of life, right?

So why is “marriage” so important to same sex couples? Numerous TV interviews with these couples and their legal advocates reveal the primary reasons are economic and legal, that is, the benefits that come with a legally recognized union. Since marriage, a once-honored state, has become so degraded in today’s society, who cares if same sex couples may now jump through some legal hoop to ensure benefits? Apparently society doesn’t, so why should I?

Next on the list of candidates of possible causative events that disturbed my serene lifestyle might be the dramatic rescue of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by the Chief Justice of the SCOTUS. Folks, this was a “gimme” – there was no way he was going to allow the ACA to implode after his saving it a couple of years ago.

Yep, once again the head honcho of our supreme court has figured out a clever way to save Obamacare by interpreting the law in a most unusual fashion. The words in the law were clear to anyone with even a minimal understanding of the English language, but he chose to disregard their meaning and based his decision on economics. Yep, he frankly admitted his reason to ignore the specific language of the law was to avoid disruption of the health insurance coverage for millions of people.

Nothing quite like a compassionate judge, right? Hey, if our number one jurist doesn’t care about the wording of the law why should I be concerned?

Ok, so what was it that jarred my complacency? My long-held appreciation of the nature of things? Ready for this? It was watching the Women’s World Cup Soccer competition. I was totally “blown away” by the astonishing athletic ability of these women. I was generally aware that women have been increasingly competing in a variety of sports – one of our granddaughters ran cross country several years ago and another currently does – but I had never imagined women having such speed, agility, stamina, and strength as these women demonstrated.

I am not a soccer fan and frankly don’t fully understand all of the rules, regulations, and procedures but I most certainly can appreciate athletic ability when I see it. In this case I was astounded at the amount of body contact these women engaged in and the frequency with which they wound up being knocked to the ground only to bounce back up and continue play without a single “time out” and very limited substitution. As a newcomer to watching this sport I was fascinated with their delicate footwork controlling the ball as well as the power and accuracy of their passes and scoring attempts – and their truly remarkable defensive moves.

Well, there you have it – a confession of how my serenity was shattered as I got caught up in the frenzy of Women’s World Cup soccer. I don’t know if I will ever become a true soccer fan – I still prefer American football – but most certainly my blood got flowing a bit better and my heart pumping a bit faster as I watched these magnificent athletes playing on the world stage. You know, I’ve been thinking I’d better start taking better care of myself if I want to watch the next Women’s World Cup in four years. Sure wouldn’t want to miss it. At least that’s how it seems to me.

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