Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Grosse Pointe, Saginaw, and anywhere else you could think of

I grew up in Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan. And I've always been rather closed-mouthed about that fact because it seemed like whenever I had to tell someone where I was from, they'd make assumptions about me: that I was wealthy (and ungrateful), that I didn't appreciate art, that I was conservative, etc.

I enrolled at SVSU after graduating from high school in 2007. And at 18, I figured that because Saginaw didn't have the same reputation that Grosse Pointe did, it'd be easier to live here.

What I've realized though, is that people will think what they want to think; every place has a reputation. I've heard generalizations about people who live in Saginaw Township (as opposed to the city): that they're wealthy (and ungrateful), that they don't appreciate art, that they're conservative, etc.

Sound familiar?

And yeah, quite a few people in Grosse Pointe fit that description, as do quite a few people in Saginaw Township. But so do people in a zillion other places, including those you might not expect. And the opposite is true as well. I'm living proof of that.

Obviously, this is easier to say than it is to live by. I make judgments of my own; I'm human. But it's worth pointing out.

Friday, January 22, 2010

January 22, 1973

Today is the 37th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, the Supreme Court case that legalized abortion for women in the US.

I received an email today from Cecile Richards, via Planned Parenthood's mailing list. In her message, she mentioned that "...this anniversary is always tinged with gratitude and immense responsibility." I feel the same way.

During the 2008 presidential election, I was freaking out over the prospect of John McCain winning for many reasons, one of which was the fear that Roe vs. Wade might be put into greater danger than it was (is?) in already. A friend of mine told me to chill out because, as she put it, "abortion's not going anywhere."

And she was right: it's not going anywhere, which is why I'd prefer that it remain a safe, legal procedure for those who seek it out.

I'm grateful for the progress we've made: when Obama was elected, he overturned the global gag rule and cut funding for abstinence-only sex "education" programs.

But we can't take this freedom for granted; I certainly don't, even though I (like many women I know) am too young to remember a time when abortion was illegal in the US. And that's where my huge sense of responsibility comes in. This is still relevant: the recent death of Dr. Tiller and the Stupak Amendment both serve as proof of that.

So today I'm celebrating Roe while reminding myself (and anyone who might read this) that the fight isn't over, even 37 years later, and if we take what we have for granted, we might lose it.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Traveling crazies

My trip back to Michigan was pretty hectic, but I'm here, so it's all good.

I flew from the little Durango airport to Denver, then from Denver to Detroit. The guy who took my ID as I passed through security at the Durango airport studied it for a very, very long time before letting me pass on through. I began to wonder if something was wrong, but then I noticed his name tag. We had the same last name. Both of us were incredulous and a half. My (our?) last name is pretty uncommon; neither of us had met another Glebocki before. He asked me who my parents & grandparents were, but didn't recognize any of their names. And I didn't recognize any of the names of the relatives he mentioned. Weird. Cool & interesting, but weird.

My flight was scheduled to leave Durango at 5:15 (mountain time), but left 30 minutes late. So my 40-minute layover in Denver turned into a 10-minute layover. Ran. Or sprinted, rather. Made my flight with seconds to spare and pain in both my legs and chest.

Arrived safely in Detroit just before midnight (eastern time). Cha-ching. But then my luggage didn't turn up on the conveyor belt . Found out it's still in Denver. It didn't make it onto my flight. Not surprising, because I barely made it myself. So they're sending it to me today.

When I got home I was greeted by the affection of pets and a delicious late-night dinner of pierogi and margaritas, compliments of my mom.

Prior to this trip, I'd never been on an airplane. And I went alone. Anyone who knows me can attest to the fact that I'm spatially inept, so I'm rather proud of myself for managing to get there & back in one piece. And I had fun to boot. Besides, how could anything that ends with Polish cuisine and alcohol possibly be anything short of awesome?