Monday, October 10, 2005


I have been following the Tom Cruise/Katie Holmes, excuse me, I mean Kate, affair out of the corner of my eye. I have friends who are involved with the Church of Scientology and in fact, went to the wedding of two Scientologists just last year. It was beautiful and everyone was very nice. The ceremony was no different than many weddings that I attend. So they ask people who come to witness the ceremony to give their support. I liked that. I've seen it at other weddings it's not just a Scientology thing.

In fact, there's not a lot in the teachings of Scientology that veer off that far from my own spiritual practice. They believe that you create your reality and that you have the power to manifest great success in your life. There's not a lot of going on about God although they talk about L. Ron like my born again friends talk about Jesus. I know that much has been made about Xenu and science fiction but I think that's just one more source of income - pushing the boss's books. We don't talk about the Thetan stuff because it gives me the giggles, but it's not so far out there from some of the stuff that the Catholics believe.

Where I find myself uncomfortable with Scientology and where I beg to differ with my friends who are members of the church is their take on Homosexuality, they believe that you can be cured of it, and in this Scientology joins the rank of file homophobia of most organized religions. And then there's their take on psychiatry and drugs. While I do agree that drugs are over prescribed and that diagnoses like ADD are tossed around like confetti, I don't agree with the complete dismissal of the field as quackery. I have too many friends and family members who have benefitted from the short term, or in some cases daily, doses of medication to right their emotional ships.

These are people who thought very seriously about killing themselves because they were clinically depressed. They are people who are manic depressive and fight a daily battle with their brain chemistry. To say that the drugs that they take have no value and that they would be fine with vitamins is arrogant in the extreme.

Arrogant was the word Tom Cruise used to describe Matt Lauer's questions about Tom's statement regarding Brook Shields and her post partum depression. I still can't get over that interview, to me that was way more crazy and concerning than the couch dance on Oprah. There he just looked like an ass. But to make the statements that he did about post partum depression being bullshit just pissed me off.

When I heard that "Kate" was with child instead of wondering if perhaps Scientology has indeed cured him of his rumored homosexuality, a rumor his two previous marriages failed to put to rest; my inner bitch, who is not a nice person, really hoped that Kate will end up with post partum depression. I'm really looking forward to seeing how the vitamin treatment works out for her.

Karma can be a bitch too.

Thursday, October 06, 2005


Last night I met Teefah and three Little Goddesses for dinner at Maggiano’s. The Little Goddesses had just completed the Her Voice program to prevent teen pregnancy and this was the first time I was able to spend some one on one time with the girls. I sit on the board and I have spent time with girls at fundraising events, but Teefah invited me to come along last night so I could get to know some of them better.

I wasn’t sure what to expect. Most of these girls live in group homes and have been in the foster care system. Most of them are black or hispanic. Many of them are angry and kind of scary the way that angry women can be. I was absolutely delighted to meet three girls, all very different, but all very charming and funny and excited about life despite the challenges they’ve had to endure.

They wanted to know about me; like did I know what I wanted to be when I was there age. I had no idea and there are days when I feel like I’m still clueless. I know what I love to do – write and work with people – but as far as how that works into career? I’m still trying to figure it out. I was so curious to know about them but didn’t want to hear stories about abuse and horrific childhood trauma because I didn’t want to define them that way.

I was circumspect in asking questions. I wanted to stay in the present moment so I asked if they knew what they wanted to be. They all nodded emphatically. Ms. J wants to be a chef, Ms. C. wants to be a CSI lab tech. Well, she really wants to be a cop, but she’s been told that it’s too dangerous. Ms. P wants to be a lawyer despite the fact that she’s only been in this country for three years and is still learning to speak English. She understand and reads more easily than the speaks and writes and she’s only 16 so I’m sure by the time she’s ready to go to college she’ll do just fine. In fact, I’m sure that she will be able to do anything she wants to do because she left her home in Central America at the age of 13 and, traveling alone, without her family, got herself into this country.

I could barely get myself to beach on the bus when I was thirteen and thought my mother was horrible for not driving me. And I showed her by hitchhiking which is another story, but an experience that makes me fairly certain that I wouldn’t have been able to get myself across a whole country.

The stories of their lives came out, but mostly in context with their dreams for the future. Both Ms. J and Ms. C lost their mothers to illness when they were around 10 years old. Both of them have had people die right at their feet. They go to the same school and have friends who “bang,” though they don’t date boys who do. We had quite a discussion about how fine thugs are and we all agreed that 50 Cent has a rockin’ body but his face isn’t as cute as Nelly’s.

Ms. P goes to a rival high school though they all live in the same group home. We had quite the discussion about boys and babies. They wanted to know why I didn’t want to have children. I told them I’d rather adopt a child that’s already here, preferably one with verbal skills. They kept pressing and it made me think until finally I was able to articulate that while I really wanted children when I was younger I was never with a man that I thought would be a good father and that I think one of the first things you do to be a good mother is pick a man who will be a good dad. For most of my life my picker has been broken when it comes to men. I talked to them about what makes a man a good man, a definition that has evolved and changed for me over the years.

What I told them, I wish someone had told me when I was there age, that it’s important to know what makes you happy and to find a man who wants to know and will do whatever he can to make you happy. If a woman is happy in her life then she will put her energy into making those around her happy, her man, her family, but if she’s busy trying to make them happy without taking care of herself it’s not going to work because she’s going to get pissed off.

And a pissed off woman is scary.