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

There’s a Group on Facebook called “I bet we can find 1,000,000 who support same-sex marriage.” For the past month I’ve watched one friend after another join this group. Once, three of my friends joined on the same day. I don’t have that many friends on FB (less than 70) and they are almost all good friends, people I admire and respect; people with whom I feel comfortable and understood. People I relate to, for the most part. 

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 some thing 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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Toyota – My Sticky Accelerator in 1973!

When I graduated from high school in 1972, I moved to California to live with an aunt and uncle. We knew I would need to buy a vehicle when I got to California, so on my uncle’s recommendation I studied Consumer Report’s Used Car Ratings.  The vehicle that seemed to get the highest overall ratings, in my price range, was the 1968 Toyota Corona Mark II.

As soon as I arrived in Fresno, I started test driving vehicles that fit the criteria. I ultimately chose a little station wagon model of a ’68 Toyota Corona Mark II, manual 4 on the floor model. Light blue with a faux leather cap, that little station wagon was my pride and joy.

It was not without its problems though and some might say it tried to kill me several times!

The first problem that plagued this vehicle was an almost stall on acceleration. Because it was a manual transmission you really wouldn’t expect the kind of behavior it was exhibiting. That mystery was solved by taking it to a specific Toyota service center. God love my Uncle Ernie; but his choice of car mechanics for my Toyota had been a bum steer. So, the fact that I would accelerate from a dead stop and get up to about 20 miles an hour and then lose all power, but not stall – just sort of putt, wasn’t so much a faulty manufacturer as a bad mechanic. Perhaps just an old guy, one without a metric set! Luckily I survived the several close calls I had when that behavior occurred.

But my sticky accelerator was a different story. One evening I was driving my Toyota, full of friends, on the freeway. We were headed north to a friend’s house in Merced. The speed limit was 70 mph, and with my little 4 cylinder engine I had to keep it floored to maintain that speed (one of my passengers was quite large and may have weighed close to 350 lbs).

Suddenly I realized that the accelerator had stuck and we were gradually gaining a little speed. I experienced a tiny flash of panic, and did what they tell you not to do. I tried to reach down to free it. Luckily the freeway wasn’t at all crowded; in fact I don’t remember any traffic at all.

I couldn’t really reach the pedal; but I didn’t panic. My Dad had taught me well, and I understood engines and transmissions. I put the car in neutral, and although the roar of the engine was disconcerting – who cared! Better to burn the engine up than crash!!

With the Toyota in neutral, the brakes worked just fine.  I braked to a stop, and pulled on to the shoulder once we’d slowed down enough. But once we stopped, the engine was no longer racing.

Not really sure what had happened, either to make it stick, or to become unstuck, we sat on the side of the road for a minute or two, recovering from the excitement, then got back on the road. I was extremely careful not to push the pedal all the way to the floor. We made it to the party, and later that evening, I made it home; again being careful not to push the pedal too far to the floor. I made that drive home alone, so I never went faster than 55 or 60 mph; I was a bit frightened and didn’t want trouble alone in the middle of the night.

The next day, after telling my Uncle about our experience, we worked together to try to figure out what had happened. Engines were a lot simpler back then, and it didn’t take very long to discover the problem. With the hood up, and the top of the air filter removed to reveal the flap mechanism of the carburetor we were able to watch the cable/linkage move as we depressed the gas pedal and released it.

Pressing the gas pedal all the way to the floor caused the edge of the other end of the cable, inside the carburetor, to catch and get hung-up. My Uncle and fiddled and fussed with things until we finally figured out that the only thing that had caused the pedal to release on its own the night before when I pulled the car over, was a bump. From what we could tell from our experimenting, was once the accelerator linkage got hung up, it was impossible to free it without manually reaching into the carburetor. (Or getting lucky by driving over a big enough bump!)

It never occurred to any of us that we should sue Toyota. Of course, it was the early 70s, a little before we became the most litigious country on the planet. All I did was to change the way I drove. I made a point not to floor my gas pedal.  As far as I can remember, I only ever had the accelerator stick one other time. I was driving up a mountain side and pushed the pedal just a little too hard and far, but again, as soon as we bumped over the edge of the shoulder, it released and we were on our way again.

Did all Toyota Corona Mark IIs have this problem? I doubt we’ll never know. Has Toyota always had a problem with sticky accelerators? It is sure beginning to seem so. Perhaps it’s our ability to social network that’s now allowing folks to connect and get the word out! How many more stories like this are out there??

I welcome your comments and questions.

Thank you, Dear Reader,

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