Public Displays

I am really off today. I think all this wailing over Kobe Bryant’s death is getting to me.

I’m not a sports fan of any kind and my biggest association with him is the alleged rape in Aspen, the $4 million dollar apology ring to his wife, his half-admission of guilt, his image rehab team, and the eventual free pass he got to pursue his career and continue to make the kind of money that allowed him to commute by helicopter rather than drive like an ordinary person.

Yeah, I don’t feel anything but angry but that’s social media for you. Everyone is coming out about what a great person he was and how much they feel for his poor family. It is tragic, don’t get me wrong, he’s a man cut down in his prime along with his daughter and seven other people. But does he deserve this outpouring of love any more than any other decent human being?

And why? So everyone can know how empathic you are? How deeply you feel? What about the woman he allegedly raped? Where’s her compassion? She doesn’t even register. In fact, a journalist was put on administrative leave for even bringing it up.

But that’s just people doing what people do on the internet. What really upset me is watching my son leap to Bryant’s defense with the usual excuses. Innocent before proven guilty. Maybe she had ulterior motives. Can anyone really know what happened? Where’s the proof?

All legitimate points but he leapt to Bryant’s defense, not sparing any compassion for the woman, and so it goes. When it comes to sexual assault very little has changed. Men are innocent until the woman isn’t proven to be a slut, liar, drunk, etc., as if there is any excuse. The more famous and beloved the man, the more scrutiny is put on the woman. It’s so fucked up and I don’t know how to deprogram that kind of thinking out of even my own boys.

I’m sorry to say that their father doesn’t help when it comes to that, those words are straight out of his mouth. I just can’t take it anymore yet pushing back means an argument and being called – even by my own kids – a feminist like it’s a dirty word. I feel defeated.

Today was a work day. I hunkered down at my computer and paid taxes, followed up on projects, and scanned articles until my eyes were sore. I was up early cooking and prepping meals for the week. It was good timing, one of my kids came home late from a band performance feeling very sick.

Chicken and barley soup for my sick kid, salads for me.
I bottled kombucha

I feel like I spent 4pm on chasing around with kids, driving them to and from practices, Scouts, etc. Commiserating with them about their own friend/family dynamics issues while trying to restrain myself from strangling them over this Kobe thing.

On a hike

I am glad to be here for them but I’m feeling pretty run down myself. I woke up in the middle of the night feeling pain in my chest, classic panic attack. Also classic that it should show up while I’m sleeping, they never happen while I am actually upset. They wait for later. I’ve learned to ride them out but this one messed with my sleep.

I got out of bed early, hence the productivity in the wee hours. And while the internet makes me crazy, sometimes it provides me with great solace.

There is no substitute for levity. And this …

I also had a very difficult conversation today, it came out of the blue. No, it wasn’t with Lonny.

Ultimately it went well, I was proud of how I comported myself; I was calm, understanding and compassionate when I had every “right” to be furious. But when it was over I was shaking. I’m not sure why it messed with me so much.

I was emptying the dishwasher – a loathed daily task – and I had to reach up high to put away a vase and I felt the ground buckle beneath me. I eased myself off the counter and did something I never do … I laid myself down on the kitchen floor and shivered for a minute until I felt steady enough to stand back up.

What can I say, today was a lot. Not as much as some experience, I have a roof over my head and plenty of comfort, but it was overwhelming nonetheless.

Tomorrow I might have a sick kid at home. He wanted to sleep with his cat tonight but he promised to call me in the morning and let me know how he feels. He can keep me company as I tackle divorce paperwork and I have a gallon of chicken soup for him to power through.

4 thoughts on “Public Displays

  1. Hey Viv! You are not alone in your reaction to Bryant’s death. There are millions of us. This is a great perspective on it and really helped me:
    https://jill.substack.com/p/kobe-bryant-and-complicated-legacies
    I miss you. Time is weirdly flying by and my kids are sucking up most of it. I’m hoping to get work next year back at the Denver Center as Wens will be in a Kindergarten and perhaps part of my missing brain will be able to grow back then. Sending love and good vibes your way. And WTF with pictures of cat shit in rice cookers!? 🤢😂

    • Wow. Thank you for that read, it really summed it up for me. I’ll bookmark it should anyone want to get into a debate with me about him.

      I miss you, too. I hope you get work at the DCPA, it will be so good for you. I’m trying hard to find something for myself. It’s on really difficult days like these (going on day 3 of suck) that it would help to lose myself in work.

      Also, cats are assholes. I love you.

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