Woodside Story: No more hating

There is no need to antagonize each other.


Yeah, the two sides of our country’s political struggles find each other, truly, revolting. But this is just the nauseating view developed from watching the news, something some of us have tried to avoid. And avoiding the news feels like riding a raft down canyon waters, we know that.

I have spent many an evening in my wicker chair, ample enough to accommodate me and my cute little pooch. Having the pooch as a snuggly companion makes it almost bearable. And so I sit watching the PBS NewsHour, shaking my head at the pure awfulness, especially the wars — as we Valley girls used to say, “Gag me with a spoon!” — so I slump there and wait for tears and rock myself back and forth in an ancient mime of prayer — think of angst-ridden old ladies of Babylonian times surrounded by burnt fields.

I’m not gonna waste my breath nor anger any readers by itemizing what my side finds objectionable about yours. And yours about mine. We know all too well what our polarizing issues are. If I were to do the itemizing, chances are you’d slam down this essay in disgust.

Here’s the thing, I’ve learned from recent visits to Florida, where we blue state folks are often resented — which is putting it mildly — but within this setting I’ve learned to like a lot of folks, maybe even everyone — as long as we don’t discuss …. You know what it is: DO NOT DISCUSS POLITICS. Why not? Because we’ll just end up hating each other rather than each other’s voting record.

And we really don’t need to hate each other, or anyone for that matter. Here’s something I’ve found while visiting my beloved ex-husband, hilarious comedy writer Marty Nadler, once residing full-time on the Vineyard, now spending most of his days in his comfy condo in Margate, west of Ft. Lauderdale. His favorite hangout is a cozy cigar bar occupied almost exclusively by those people known as — ach du lieber, I can barely say it so I’ll just tell it — it rhymes with ‘thumpers.’ And whereas we blue states tend to think of thumper dens as places where people march around calling for a renewal of Jim Crow laws, I’m here to assure you, THEY DON’T!! No one wants to march around in a dark-paneled lounge resembling a London country club, demanding anything more incendiary than a decaf cappuccino heaped high with whipped cream and accompanied by a stogie chosen from a humidor as big as your bedroom.

There are, typical of all bars these days, immense flat screen TVs lining the walls, tuned to football games and, at their most egregious, maybe a documentary about back-paddling otters in the Ozarks.

In fact, speaking of those flat screens at the cigar bar, my only badly timed visit at that spot occurred in the late afternoon of Jan. 6 in the year 2021, where I knew about the Insurrection going on in Washington, D.C., and this little ol’ lady with a liberal heart knew she needed to bolt the premises to find out how it would all play out. I bid my ex-hubby farewell, although I knew his own liberal heart was giving him angina, and I called Uber to arrive like a golden chariot — it was really an elderly yellow KIA — and take me home to the news.

I got home to see Congress had called a special meeting to conduct the nationwide vote. Dear darling Mike Pence, bless his heart, had appeared to play Mum, as the English say about pouring tea, and he spent some tantalizing hours adding up the votes from every state in the Union and — as we well know, the Union won.

Anyway, I’ve been back to that lovely warm setting many times since. The owner of the club, tall, dark-haired, bearded, grinning, welcoming Sal, with two daughters in high school, stoops to hug me, last time joking that Marty had said to him viz a viz me: “Stay away from my [rhymes with ‘Itch]’!”

Sometimes when we leave the bar to catch a Lyft ride home, and after someone says something amiable about DeSantis, Marty whispers in my ear when we’re out the door, “Thank you for not mentioning Gandhi.” My patron saint.

I don’t and I won’t. So here’s what I recommend: Don’t be afraid of entering the den of the wolves. There is no wolf. There’s just us chicks. And we all care for one another. Quite naturally.

We don’t have to be antagonized. We’re human: we’re all inherently lovable. The angels made us that way.

And ix-nay on andhi-gay!