A New iPhone 6 from ATT? Not so fast!!!

My recent shopping experience with ATT (I document this for the saga that it is; I don’t live in the story. And the ultimate lesson is this: Go to a store):

On October 1, 2014, because my iPhone 4 is out of memory and the battery is weak, I went online to order an iPhone 6. After calling an ATT representative to double-check that I understood the options I was seeing on the screen, I configured an iPhone 6 the way I want it.  I then added 5 accessories, 4 of the ATT USB to lightning cable in purple for $19 each and 1 Zagg Invisishield for the iPhone 6 for $45 since there was a great accessory sale going on.

I got everything in the cart, I entered my credit card, everything ready to go. On the screen, it showed 3 addresses, the Billing address, the Shipping address and the Physical Address of use (where I will be using the equipment the most).

The Billing address had a green check mark, and the physical usage address had a green check “verified”. Nothing I entered the shipping address would work. I was entering the same address as shown on the screen as the verified physical address!

The error kept saying the address I was entering didn’t meet Postal Standards, even though it did!

So, I tried calling, and heard there was nothing that ATT Representative could do (this took an hour); to so they transferred me to E-commerce, and I spent several hours on the phone with a frightening woman who was persistent enough to manage to get the order placed for the phone, but it took hours and there were several disturbing moments when it seemed almost crazy.  At one point she started asking me who Emmanuel is…… as if there were some identity theft that had happened. She never did explain that to me and off she went on another tangent.

By the time she is ready to process the order, there no stock left and she told me she wouldn’t place the order since there was no stock. I said that was unacceptable. I didn’t care, put the order in on back-order. By this time I had about 4 or 5 hours invested in this darned order, I wasn’t getting blown off now by this person! That was ridiculous.  Back on hold, I went.

After about 6 hours on the phone, she said she had the order placed and she gave me the order number, but the order was JUST for the phone; she is unable to order the accessories, “that’s not her department.” She would have to transfer me back to Customer Care. Bear in mind, Customer Care had told me they can’t place orders……

So, after another ridiculous hold time, I get another ATT Representative. I explain that I wish to order the accessories that I was unable to order via the other woman. He listens to the story; he says there’s a way to by-pass the problem of not being able to have things shipped to a PO Box (why didn’t anyone else say that?) He sent me a text that I then read to him and he told me that now I could order online and have things ship to my PO box. (I have no idea if this is, in fact, true, yet.)

He then said he had canceled the order the woman in E-commerce had placed and he had put an order in for everything, the phone, and the accessories.  He started to give me the order number, got about 5 numbers into it, and the line went DEAD.

Normally, my experience in the past is that when something like that happens the ATT rep calls you right back. ATT used to have a fantastic support policy, a representative would call and follow-up if you wanted, or they would on their own call and follow-up.

So, I waited a few minutes, but he never called me back, so I called and went to “Orders and billing” and after another 15 minutes on hold I reached someone, explained what had happened and heard “sorry, our systems are down, you’ll have to call back in an hour or two.” Again, this so different from the kind of customer service ATT used to offer.  In the past, if that happened, the Agent would have offered to call ME back!

I abandoned the project for the day. I had spent all day, and probably at least 6 or 7 actual hours of phone time.

The next day I took up the cause again.  I logged in and saw that I did in fact still have the original order and there was no 2nd order as the one gentleman had said, nothing that matched the numbers he had given me.

When I looked at order status it says they were waiting for more information. There were 2 phone numbers one in the little”?” and one at the bottom.  I called the one in the little “?” and after an hour or so, I wasted my breath explaining my whole situation to the agent, at which point he said, if you need help navigating the website, I can help you, otherwise I’ll have to transfer you. He of any of the people was the least empathetic and just keep saying “all I can do is web navigation.” I landed in Web Navigation by dialing the # in the little ?.

He then transferred me to a different department.

After another hour I connected with someone who told me there was only one order, that the other gentleman would not have been able to “cancel” the order that E-commerce had entered for me, only someone from E-commerce could do that……. he then said I had an email I had to reply to.  I looked, found it, and I processed the “Acceptance” that the email I received said I needed to do. I made the bad judgment to believe him when he told me it could take 24 hours for the status to refresh, and I hung up.

By now I am complacent about the accessories, who cares anymore…… while on hold I had tried to shop for them on my own, but now they were out of stock, they don’t even appear on the website anymore.  Just one more way the ATT company is trying to make people crazy I suspect.  Seriously, who does that? Make the product disappear when it’s out of stock.  It’s just out of stock ~ either allow people to back order it or doesn’t allow them to order, let them put it on a wish list.  But to make it simply vanish from the offering ~ in my case it just adds to the surreal, unpleasant encounter.

Meanwhile later, the website did update, and now it said there was still a problem with the Order and that I needed to call.  I called the number at the bottom of the screen. The person I finally got to explained that the billing address has to match the shipping address. Specifically, the shipping address must be the SAME address of the credit card.

At which point I told them they need to get their business OUT OF ALASKA if they aren’t going to learn how we live up here. We get our mail, our billing addresses are most often, even in the largest city, PO Boxes.  They either need to ship to PO Boxes or they need to override the system and allow different billing and shipping addresses on the Credit Card.

In any case, after another 2 hours, this representative informed me that they had fixed it, and the order would ship, sometime between 11/12 and 11/21.

While on hold I had pounded around on the ATT website trying to find a way to file a complaint; I made a tweet to ATT and received a reply with a phone # to call.

I asked who I could speak to file a complaint with. Just to document this entire chaotic and unreasonable experience.

After an hour on hold, that would be someone else, and she transferred me.

The next person said oh, we don’t take complaints over the phone. You have to do that online. OK, I say, where?

So then she and I spent some time (another hour) banging around on the website looking for the reported “email address” or complaint form.  The only thing either of us could find was a page about Arbitration and Dispute Resolution.  I wasn’t interested in that, I just want to COMPLAIN!!!!

I’ve been an ATT customer most of my life and I’m 60! This is a horrible state of affairs. ATT has never been like this. I feel it is my duty to try to get someone’s attention.  I don’t want to stop being a customer, but when the nearest Store is OVER 120 MILES AWAY, the only way I can get new equipment is normally to order it. What will I do the next time? I can’t go through an experience like this and no one should have to!

Well, after another hour, we discovered, oh, well, they took that off the web. They don’t even post a physical address a physical address.  If you look up “File a Complaint” there actually IS NO MENTION OR INSTRUCTION FOR DOING SO!!!! There is just discussion of Arbitration and Dispute Resolution.

On the same page on their site: http://www.att.com/esupport/article.jsp?sid=47114&cv=820#fbid=T78_eKO1dmC it says:

For customers in Alaska: If you’re not satisfied with the way your complaint was handled, you may contact the Regulatory Commission of Alaska at 800.390.2782 or 907.276.6222.

I finally resort, on Friday, after having invested at least 8 -10 hours of phone time in quest of my iPhone 6 on the phone with ATT, to calling the Regulatory Commission to see if there is someone there that can listen to this insane story and pass it on to people who might care.

I leave a message in a very nice sounding gentleman’s voice mail.  He returns my call in the afternoon, and unfortunately, the Regulatory Commission only handles Home (Land) Lines in Alaska.  To file a complaint on a wireless issue in Alaska about ATT, I would need to call the FCC.

He kindly gave me the phone number, which I wrote on a napkin and have now thrown away. 😦

So, I will see what the force of social media will do with this blog post instead.  I never bothered with ATT’s Facebook page. I will admit the Twitter folks are especially responsive, and sympathetic, but lack any real power and were not all that helpful since the phone number was bum, but they did tweet me a physical address to write to.  It’s completely different from the address that the last agent on the phone gave me in so that just raises more questions.

I’m not going to take my time and resources to print 2 sets of this out and mail it to the 2 locations on the “off-chance” someone might open and read it.

I am curious if I’ll see any response to my answers to their 3 question text quiz, following up.

On October 1st I was able to put the phone in my cart and almost got out the door with it…..now I have to wait until mid-November instead.  Great service to a loyal and longtime customer. Not.

You may be wondering if this wasn’t all a sign to get me to switch to some other service provider .. but really there is no other acceptable solution. So rock on I had to.

Posted in About Me, Modern Society, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Understand the POWER of Your Words and Thoughts!!!

This post was originally written in September of 2010 ~ although the disaster referenced may have faded from memory, you may feel free to substitute any recent disaster ~ the point is the same…..

My husband takes his lunch like clockwork at noon, so our close friends know if they stop by during the lunch hour, they’ll find us home. I absolutely love our lives because we have the flexibility to take long lunches and enjoy the coffee and conversation those visits bring.

I love the visits, but sometimes, really, if I’m to be honest, most of the time, the conversation ends up frustrating me. I spend a fair amount of time everyday contemplating life in terms of the space time continuum. If you don’t know what I mean, let me briefly try to clarify. Quantum physicists have proven there is no such thing as time. Although life may appear linear, we know now, for a fact, that it is not. Everything is happening at once. Past, present, future, is all really NOW.

I don’t claim to understand that. It’s why I spend a lot of time considering the notion. It’s rather mind boggling, but to me, it makes some things about life much less important than they seem to others, and it makes other things much more important than most people realize.

Take the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico – if everything is happening at once, then the cleanup, and all the damage, everything about it, have already happened…I think the most important thing about the spill is how we think and talk about it. Perhaps the real lesson of life is that what matters most, is how we react to what happens.

For example, a statement that got made during a recent discussion was “it’s eating me up,” in reference to the threat of a similar spill in Alaska waters. If our thoughts are things (something else we know scientifically to be true) then, do we really want to talk this way? I know I certainly have no intention of “being eaten up” by anything!

It’s so easy to fall into a negative mindset. Human nature is to do what’s easy, so it’s all too easy to sit around and complain and blame, and fall prey to discouragement.

If, instead of despairing over how horrible things are, and how BP is never going to properly pay or be held accountable, or how the planet is ruined, we envisioned the outcome we desired, wouldn’t we a)be happier and b) be creating the reality we want?

Instead of railing on about how our grandkids are being left a planet in despair, wouldn’t it be better to be speaking hopefully about the prospects? Wouldn’t it be better to envision a positive outcome?

Instead of despairing over the condition of the planet that our grandkids are inheriting, why not see our grandkids developing new and brilliant solutions to the energy crisis.

I don’t claim to understand “it” at all – that life is all happening at once. I do understand the glory of a life lived with a positive spin!

I brought that up today, but it went right over their head, or maybe just in one ear and out the other. I wanted to scream “you don’t get it!!!”

If we’re all connected, all energy, all happening at once, then it becomes much, much, much more important how and what our energy is – which is our thoughts and feelings. If you’re feeling loving and having loving energy, then that’s what you’re putting out into the universe. If you’re feeling unhappy and frustrated and that’s what you’re talking about, then that’s what you’re creating!

If there’s no such thing as time, then wouldn’t the best thing to do is to make the moment you’re in the best you can??? When you consider it that way, does it feel right to complain? If the first word that popped into your head just then was “but” then your work is cut out for you!

I challenge every person on the planet to stop their negative energy! Your glass is always half full! There is always a reason (a good reason) for everything, even if you don’t know what it is! Look for the silver lining!

Change your lives by changing your outlook; you’ll be greatly rewarded.

Thank You Dear Reader,

Posted in Enlightenment, Modern Society, Religion & Spirituality, Spirituality & Metaphysics | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Doesn’t This Bug Anyone Else?

When I was in outside sales in the 80s & the 90s, I spent many a day behind the wheel, driving through numerous towns in the mid-west. Of all the things I saw during those travels, the thing that impressed me most was that of all the buildings, the ones that were the nicest, fanciest, the most decadent, the most beautifully landscaped were owned by insurance companies; or banks.

I’d rant to my friends back then-Why am I the only one bothered by this?? Doesn’t occur to anyone else that there’s something fundamentally wrong with this picture?

Today, one of the major news topics in the news is the “high cost of healthcare” and in most cases, the rest of the sentence is “because of the insurance premiums!”

I never understood, as I’d drive by fancy, ostentatious buildings, (Blue Cross & Blue Shield, for example), why people weren’t up in arms about the profits that insurance companies were clearly making. Why weren’t the economists raising a fuss? Why wasn’t anyone talking about what would happen if this trend continued?

Oh, we’re all about free-enterprise, and capitalism. Our founding fathers came here for religious freedom and somehow we’ve evolved into a country with a bunch of people who have taken that freedom and stretched it into a “freedom to make as much money as I want by ripping other people off!”

Somehow, what might have started out as a noble idea, “insurance” has now ruined our economy, driven us into a recession, and was recently at the heart of one of the largest debates, and most contentious fights our country has faced.

Morally corrupt individuals have contributed to raises in insurance premiums by scamming. Filing false claims inflated expenses, which then caused a rise in premiums. Then we figured out we could sue our doctors. We’ve become the most litigious society on the planet and quickly “malpractice” insurance became the hottest offering, and again, the cost of health care increased. The pharmaceutical companies have contributed dearly to the problems. Pushing pills that kill us, triggering more lawsuits. Then there’s the collusion between the doctors and the pharmaceutical companies, and more lawsuits.

I was once almost killed by an ultrasound technician who refused to honor or perform a test that had been ordered by my doctor, because “the insurance company” wouldn’t pay for it. It was a matter of life and death, and she chose, because of money her hospital might not be reimbursed for, death, for me. I went without the test and ended up in the hospital almost dead as a result.

After I recovered, I wanted revenge, not for revenge’s sake but to show the problem with the system. What I discovered was, had I actually ended up dead, my estate could have sued and would have won. But, I hadn’t died, so there was no revenge to be gotten. I couldn’t even get an apology. From anyone. Nor could I get any guarantee that others would not be treated the same way.

Little did I know, after that stay in the hospital, they would decide I was no longer insurable. See, the blood that I’d been born with had a little problem, and once I turned 40, it decided to act up. It didn’t matter that I’d paid health insurance premiums my entire adult life. The insurance companies looked at me, my age and my blood and just said NO.

But our debates about health reform don’t ever really get to the bottom of what is fundamentally wrong. Corporate greed is what life in America is ALL about now. We are no longer a country of pioneers making our way in the world; the driving force in this country now are the big corporations’ CEOs, their huge salaries, and bonuses.

Until we as a people are ready to be pioneers again, things will continue along as they are, with the insurance companies flaunting their profits, and holding us hostage.

The new administration managed to get some Health Care Reform Bill passed, but it will be a while before we see what, if any, real improvements get made. With Corporations being individuals now, I’m doubtful.

Thank You, Dear Reader,

Posted in Health & Wellness, Health Care Reform, Politics | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Reclaim, Renew, Rejoyce – America’s NEW 3-Rs

America has sunk to the lowest point in our existence. Corporations and the extremely rich own us. They own our country and to a certain extent, because of their influence in politics now, they all of us, individually.

Here we all are, 9 years after 9/11 and we’ve allowed ourselves to become a country of hate. Individually, too many of us are hateful, if not across the board, then hate individually directed (towards terrorists) has somehow become acceptable. We allow it to remain alive, in war, in the news about the war, and in our hearts. We’re reminded of it daily.

We’re now a country of people whose fear has run amok. We lost our way after that tragic day. To quote Condalisa Rice ” every day, after that day, was 9/12.” Could less wise words ever have been uttered? I’m not here to debate the steps that followed; I’m here to debate the philosophy and I’m here to mightily protest the results!!!

We’ve forgotten how to forgive. We’ve forgotten how to love. We’ve forgotten to always be looking forward. We, instead, at the hand of our leaders put too much focus on revenge. Nine years later we still haven’t gotten it. While we’ve waited to get our revenge, we’ve neglected a multitude of other things, important things, and have become a shabby, vengeful people, driven by fear and negativity.

We must reclaim our positive outlook on life, on our country, on our planet. Then we must Renew our passions for the most important things on earth: Love, Forgiveness and Joy. Doing this will allow us to Rejoice as a Country, as we reclaim our standing in the World as a respected leader of individual freedoms!

Posted in Modern Society, Politics | Leave a comment

What’s Happened to Our Food???

My husband went on a short trip last week, leaving me home with double my chores, among other things. To console myself I did what I usually do: I went to the grocery store and stocked up on my personal selection of “comfort foods.” Low carbs be damned! At the top of the list: Stouffer’s Macaroni & Cheese, and Boboli pizza bread with extra, extra Boboli sauce. I have rather poor eating habits if left to my own rhythms. I tend to go all day on a couple of cups of coffee, then late in the afternoon, or early evening I start eating, and I snack, nibble, eat, all night till it’s time to go to bed. (Yes, I do know that’s not the recommended way, but we can save that for a different discussion. Luckily I’m not alone much, so these habits don’t happen very often.)

Always a big favorite, a thin Boboli pizza bread covered thickly with the same brand sauce, sprinkled with hot red peppers flakes and baked till incredibly crispy. My first clue that something had changed was how the sauce came out of the plastic bag – in the past, I would clip or tear the end of the bag, turn it upside down over the bread, and then squeeze the bag to make the sauce even start to move! So thick was the sauce that I used to roll the end of the bag, like a tube of toothpaste to make the sauce come out. Now, all I had to do was turn the plastic sac over, the sauce gushed out, no problem. The color is lighter, and although the oregano seasoning seemed similar, an overpowering sweetness made me wonder how much HFCS the sauce might contain (a quick consultation of the packaging revealed it’s the 3rd ingredient, and instead of tomato paste as the first ingredient, it’s now water!). The bread had looked the same in the sac, but once out on the pizza pan it seemed blander than usual, and of a different consistency. I was totally disappointed in the end results; this long time favorite dates back to my Michigan days; we’re talking almost 2 decades of this being a favorite snack! My taste buds remember what this treat is supposed to taste like, and this mess was not it!

Ever since “the recession of 2009” it seems as if the quality of almost everything, in all arenas, has dropped off the charts. From mattresses (a story I am years from being able to justly tell) to major appliances to minor appliances, things that used to last 30+ years, we’re now LUCKY if they last 5.

And foods, processed, off the shelf foods, have not only shrunk in size for the same money (witness ice cream that always used to come in 1/2 gallon cartons now come in 1.5 quart cartons), but the ingredients used have been changed too. For example, things that never used to have artificial flavoring, like graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate, are all now polluted; you have to look hard for any microwave popcorn that doesn’t contain either artificial or “natural” flavoring.  Both things out of test tubes!

Disappointed and disgusted with my Boboli pizza, I popped the Stouffers Macaroni & Cheese in the oven. Being a hater of plastic in the kitchen, especially in the microwave with food inside, I removed the frozen chunk from the plastic baking dish it came in, and placed it in a glass pan. I then baked it to what I hoped would be perfection and was extremely excited yet apprehensive, as I sat down to eat.

Disappointment came over me in waves as I took my first few bites. I’d gotten a hint something was different, just by the way the stuff looked. Gone was the rich cheesy flavor, replaced instead with a faint cardboard essence. Gone were the bubbly cheese, and the firm pasta, both.

I tossed the majority of both dishes, vowing that I don’t need to eat either, ever again.

I guess it’s just the process of life and evolution, change and progress. Things come, things go. My fundamental concern at this point is that some of the things that are going are signs of things that should be of concern, as they are the harbingers of change that is the result of distress and duress. A lack and decline in quality of this magnitude, is a sign of a larger problem. More and more, I only want to eat things that I am sure of where they came from, and sure of how they have been handled, and sure of what has been added.

It’s a shorter list every day.

I originally wrote this in September 2010 – it is now November 2012, and the situation has only grown worse.

Case in point,20121120-121333.jpg we went out to eat with our young grandchildren a few weeks ago. They both ordered app20121120-121357.jpgle juice for their beverage, which was Minute Maid brand and arrived in individual plastic bottles; I’d have preferred glass but what are we to do when this is all there is. At the end of the meal, they both had a considerable amount of juice left, so we put the caps on each bottle, with the intent of taking them with us, when my husband happened to read the label. “Contains apple juice concentrate from the U.S.A., Argentina, Austria, Chile, China, Germany, and Turkey.”

CHINA!!!!???? CHINA!!!!???? CHINA!!!???? Food from China, and I just fed it to my grand kids??!!! Seriously, it was all I could do to keep myself from sticking my fingers down their throats to make them hurl the juice (and subsequently the meal) they’d just consumed.

The next day, when I called Minute Maid, to register my concern and complaint, the lovely women on the phone, I could tell from her tone, didn’t believe me, and I had to convince her I was not a crazy lunatic. Well, you can see that I’m not – the photos are genuine unaltered shots taken at the restaurant.

Needless to say, the list of foods I’ll consider for purchase, is even shorter now.

Clean Food, a term I read in “Maximize Your Quality of Life, The 200% Solution,” a new book by Thomas Matt, is the PERFECT way to describe the kinds of foods we “should” be eating….. I believe, even more than that, we should, as consumers, be DEMANDING Clean Food from the suppliers and manufacturers. For sure I demand food from places other than China!

Posted in Food, Health & Wellness, Made in China, Modern Society, Politics | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Point That Finger at Yourself!

I think it’s a rare experience to find a really good boss; someone you actually learn from. Throughout my life I’ve held a number of jobs, in an extremely wide variety of professions.  At one point, I had a career as a computer technician, as both a hardware and software technician; I maintained the first telephone “help desk” for the State of Michigan’s first local area networks, back in the mid-’80s. At the time, I was working for Core Technology, a “Burroughs” support company, founded by Robert M. Bessette. I’m not saying I didn’t learn anything from other bosses along the way, before, or after, but of all the bosses ever, Bob, as we were allowed to call him, taught me more about life, work, and being successful, than any other person I’ve ever known. By the late 80s I’d outgrown the help desk position. After dabbling as a computer instructor at his request, Bob asked me to take a job in sales.

This is where my real learning occurred. The sales position started out as a telemarketing job at 100% commission. I don’t think many people realize how many sales jobs out there are just like that one – no benefits, no salary, no guarantees – just a lot of hard work, with fairly large rewards if successful. The key is becoming successful. That’s one thing Bob Bessette knew how to do; and he was both willing and anxious to teach others. Make no mistake, this was not altruism on his part, but capitalism. The more his sales force sold the more the company made, hence, the more he made. I think to him, I was like a tomato plant ~ nurture and care for it properly, and it will PRODUCE. (He was right!)

Typically, in a sales organization, you have your monthly “quota” – your target sales figures for the month, and weekly sales meetings to review where each sales stands, how close to “closing” the deal each salesman is. Those meetings were often extremely uncomfortable and unpleasant, but I can honestly say I learned some of the most important lessons ever as a result.

For companies with sales divisions, it’s extremely important to the upper level management to know what’s happening with their revenue stream, so these meetings could be quite intense, particularly if a large sale appeared to be faltering, or taking too long to close. Over the years we expanded the sales division, so eventually it wasn’t just me getting “shredded” every week, but a room full of MY staff, along with me.

We’d all gather, first, in the President’s (Bob’s) office for our meetings, later, as our numbers grew, in a conference room, and we’d “go around the room,” each salesperson reporting on their progress: new leads, current prospects, status of pending sales. Bob, an extremely savvy businessman would question us; grill us is more like it. You couldn’t slide one past Bob, or hide from his scrutiny. If you had projected a sale to close and it hadn’t, you explained why. If you didn’t have a reasonable number of new prospects, you explained why. If you hadn’t moved the right number of prospects into the pending sale category, you explained yourself. As soon as you tried to blame it on anyone other than yourself: look out!

“Take that finger of yours, and point it at yourself!” Bob would exclaim. He was all about personal responsibility, and blaming oneself, not somebody else, if a sale had not gone as planned.

The thing is though, the same is true for life. It is rarely, if ever, someone else’s fault for things being the way they are. Personal responsibility is no longer a popular notion. We’ve become a lazy, dependant, soft population, all about blaming others for our predicaments. As I watch the news on TV, listen to the stories on the radio, read the newspaper, I can’t help but remember those discussions. When I run most of what goes on through my “Bob” filter, I can just hear him! “Take that finger, turn it around, and point it at yourself!!”

I try my hardest to live those words, every day, in every way. I also enjoy daydreaming about what life would be like if everyone lived those words, every day, in every way. 🙂 It’s Human Nature to look outside ourselves. It’s Divine Nature to look within.

Till next post, wishing you wellness and happiness!
Thank you Dear Reader,
P.s. I welcome your comments and questions. The link is at the top. 🙂

Posted in About Me, Health & Wellness | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Change the Name of That Facebook Group, and I’ll Join!

As I watched this activity stream by in the feed I found myself wondering why I didn’t just slide my mouse around and click “Join This Group.”

Facebook Group I bet we can find 1,000,000 who support same sex marriage

It’s not as if I don’t agree with the notion; I DO, 100%! So what in the world, I began to wonder, was my problem?! I began to question my honesty, wondering if I was secretly prejudiced, or believed that couples of the same-sex were not entitled to the same rights as “the rest” of us. But when I’d start mentally down that path I’d come up short, because my every fiber would contradict me. I DO believe in equality, I DO NOT have a problem with same-sex marriage, but wait, even as I type those words, yes I do…?

Then, another friend would join the group, and again, my hand would hesitate, hover my pointer over the “Join This Group” link without clicking. I’m usually doing at least 5 things at any given moment, so the pause to contemplate the problem would be brief. The realization that I must think more on it would send me on to the next task at hand, with this, an important social statement left for another day.

Round and round I found myself going, “I don’t have a problem with same-sex marriage,” but knowing at some deep level of my being, that “I do have a problem with same-sex marriage,” I must, or I’d join that group to show my support. Each time I’d see another friend join, I go through the same circular process, never dedicating the necessary attention to it to solve my problem or come up with an answer about what my problem was.

My lack of support for the Group really began to eat at me. Maybe there’s even a little “peer pressure” I was imagining. Friends would notice my lack of joining and someone would eventually demand that I explain myself! One young man in particular has sent me three invitations, or reminders, to join, and I’ve ignored every one. 😦 I knew it was only a matter of time.

After several weeks of this turmoil and discomfort I finally decided to tackle this dilemma during one of our twice weekly steam baths. There’s something special about sitting naked in 260 degree heat, at least for me. Over the years I’ve learned that those physical influences, of intense heat and steam, can help me strip away the layers, not just of external dirt, but also layers of haze in my brain, and with diligent attention focused on a problem, it was possible for me to achieve enlightenment in that setting. Sometimes that enlightenment is augmented by my husband, whose wise insight will help me along; sometimes I just sit quietly stewing, until I work it out on my own. Never, though, have I been disappointed. I think that’s really the way life works – when we are ready, truly ready, we are rewarded with results.

So there I was, hot, sweaty, tussling with this whole issue, picking at my brain over and over, like a kid with an itchy scab. I tuned into my stomach and paid attention to the sensations I was feeling as I turned the words over and over, and suddenly, there it was! Enlightenment!!

It isn’t the act of same-sex marriage that bothers me. It isn’t what it represents; it isn’t the equal rights; it isn’t anything like that. It is, quite simply, the words. Same-Sex Marriage. Those words.

Whenever I hear those words, think those words, read those words, write those words, something happens to me. It’s subtle, and I’m tempted to call it more of a visceral reaction than anything. Before you rush to judgement, hear me out (because I think the real key here, is that I am not alone)!

Once I realized that it was specifically a phrase that was bugging me, I turned my attention to that phrase. The word “marriage” and the phrase “holy matrimony” have been used from the beginning of time to describe unions between men and women. Being gay, or having same-sex couples is nothing new. For as long as there has been marriage, there have also been gay couples, both men and women.

It took society eons to get to the point where we can discuss this openly. Here’s what it really all boils down to: if we persist in trying to legalize “same-sex marriage” we’ll be discussing it for another eon!

Facebook Group I bet we can find 1,000,000 who support same sex marriage

I am 100% convinced, if we change the words we use, change the phrase, omit the word marriage and substitute something else in its place, a word that doesn’t have the history of time behind it, a phrase that doesn’t elicit the same emotional response, a phrase that doesn’t offend the religious, we could have what we want, and we could have it soon!

So how about it? Change the name of that Facebook group to: “I bet we can find 1,000,000 people who support Human Union For All,” and I’ll join!

If you agree, please spread the word!

As my husband was quick to remind me when I shared the draft of this post with him, the real point and the place this change must occur is at the legal level. Marriage Certificates or Certificates of Marriage, become Human Union Certificates or Certificates of Human Union; Marriage Licenses become Human Union Licenses. To achieve equality for all, we must all endorse and enforce this change, unilaterally. Fundamental to this movement must be a cease and desist order when it comes to discussing the sex of the people forming the Union! By changing the words we use, suddenly there is no need to even mention the issue of sex; we will finally have equality for all.

There will still be the word “marriage” in our dictionary, we’ll still use the word in conversation, and perhaps some will still use it on their invitations, but when all our legal documents use the word “Union,” this problem of ours is solved!

If you would support the formation of a new Facebook group with the new name, or have other ideas to improve on this, please send your comments. Tweet the idea if you Twitter. Email the link to this post to everyone in your address book.

With the power of the Internet, and the mass communication capabilities of this 21st Century, we could make this a done deal in short order!

Thank You Dear Reader,

P.s. I welcome your comments and questions.

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