Things That Are Just Wrong: A Short List

I have opinions. This is my blog. I am going to share them now. (If you're one of those easily offended or sensitive types, you should sit or something.)

Things that are just wrong:

  • people who don't eat the rind of good cheese—people have no idea what they're missing;

  • jockstraps that show through sheer football pants—I'm blaming you, Nike;

  • Mitt Romney thinking that the death of my late husband makes my children view themselves as entitled victims because they receive survivor benefits.

I have been incredibly quiet here on my blog about politics this presidential election, but I'm going to speak up right now. Why? This is just too personal for me.

Yes, it has been personal on many other occasions, but I have addressed those elsewhere, and I felt that was sufficient, and I would deal with that at the ballots in November.

This? It's too much.

I collected my first legitimate, taxes-paid, paycheck when I was barely old enough to sign my name in cursive. I know this because I have the Social Security card to prove it. Back in the day you didn't get your Social Security card at birth; you got it when you worked for the first time or needed it for identification. That paycheck included money withheld for Social Security. I believe I was somewhere around eight years old. I worked for my father doing inventory for a family business, counting parts, something a child could do. I earned minimum wage.

By the time I was in my teens, I worked part-time after school and longer hours in the summers, again paying into the "system." I filed my taxes every year.

When I was in my early 20s, I got married to Bob, who had also been working since he was a teenager. He too paid into Social Security and paid his taxes. We had two kids. I became a stay-at-home mom when I was pregnant with our second child, working part-time and freelance, both of us still paying taxes and contributing to Social Security.

Then Bob died of cancer.

Guess what we, as the survivors of his death are entitled to?

Life without him. Sweet benefit, huh? Yeah, my kids think so, too.

Also, after working and paying into Social Security benefits for the requisite period of time, based on a complex calculation, our family receives survivor benefits for a period of time to allow us to make up for the wages lost due to his death.

We are not lazy.

We do pay federal income tax, actually, contrary to what Mitt Romney would like you to think.

I do not expect Mitt Romney to worry about me, so it's okay that he's agreed not to. Why? Because he has no idea what it is like to be me. He has never lived in my shoes. He has no empathy for me. He would have no idea how to worry about me. I'll handle the worry. We've done just fine without him so far, thank you very much.

Now, do I feel that my family is entitled to the benefits my husband and I paid for over the years we worked? Hell yes! I would feel that way whether we had paid for those benefits through a private entity or Social Security. That's why we have Social Security. It's also why my husband and I had life insurance, which we paid for every month. Did I feel entitled to receive that benefit? Yes, I did. We paid for it.

What I would most enjoy right now is for Mitt Romney to explain to my children how it is that they are lazy, entitled, and/or victims whom he will not be worrying about because their father died of cancer. Because while I do not need him to worry about me, my children might want to know why someone who's running for president of this nation would dare to make such a bold statement about his future constituents.