Mondays are my Target days. I try to get there as soon as they open so it’s not too crowded and I get what I need for the week…and maybe things I didn’t expect to get. If you are a Target shopper, you know what I mean (smile). This past Monday I walked past the make-up aisle as I do every week, but this week my eye caught the L’Oreal lipstick display. I’m not a lipstick person. I’ve tried and tried mainly because I’m getting older and my lips are losing their color (by the way what is up with that??), but I just can’t find a shade or brand that I like. But back in the day, my friends and I liked a shade of L’Oreal lipstick that was pretty neutral so it was doable for me. I think it was called satin mauve. You know mauve was big in the 80’s (wink). I went past the aisle, but was compelled to turn my cart around and go back to the lipstick. Memories came flooding back to me standing there in front of that lipstick. Isn’t that weird? Maybe it’s because there has been so much negativity in the world lately and I just wanted a little nostalgia. I wondered to myself if it still smelled the same. Again weird…but the lipstick had a scent that I distinctly remember and I just had to buy a tube.
I had forgotten about it when I got home. This morning I noticed that I had not emptied all of the Target bags so I grabbed them to put things away. And there it was…the lipstick. I had to laugh because I went by the look of the color when I picked it. The name? Saucy mauve…I guess mauve isn’t just an 80’s thing (smile). At the risk of sounding loony, I opened it up and took a long, deep sniff. Oh my gosh! It still smells exactly the same! I took another smell and it came to me…PEZ! It smells like PEZ candy to me. Who knew that after 30 years L’Oreal would have the same formula??
Again a bunch of memories came flooding to me just from a simple smell of lipstick. It made me think of some of the commentary I’ve seen on social media lately towards this generation of kids. So many of the comments start off with, “Well when I was a kid we would never get away with this behavior.” They usually go on to say how this generation is a bunch of over sensitive babies. Having graduated from high school 33 years ago this year (yikes!), I can say that things today are nothing like what I encountered when I was a teenager. Don’t get me wrong…it wasn’t a cake walk by any means, but I can say with confidence that kids today face much higher pressure then we did back then.
Social media plays a big part in that. Back in the day, you would hear through the grapevine that someone didn’t like you or was talking about you. Today it is blasted on social media for all to see. When I was a teenager if you were in a fight, people would hear about it, but today it’s video recorded for the whole world to see. It has taken bullying to a whole new level. I know adults who have a hard time with comparing their lives to their friends lives on FB…imagine what that’s like for a young teenager. Pressure! I could go on and on, but I won’t.
The scariest thing I had to deal with as a teenager was taking public transportation to high school through the city. I went to an all girl Catholic high school and we didn’t have a school bus so I took an hour-long ride every morning and afternoon on the mass transit system. I saw some sights…the most disturbing being a man exposing himself to me. You can’t get away when you are stuck on a bus going to school! My classmates and I also had to deal with boys at our bus stop by our school trying to pick us up and making sexual comments about us in our school uniforms while they were huffing paint…baggies of it. But none of that compares to the fear of being shot while in school. That thought NEVER even occurred to me. To me comparing what life was like for me back then and what kids deal with today is like comparing apples and oranges.
The negative commentary I’ve been seeing on social media towards the teens that were part of another tragic school shooting in Parkland, Florida and the uprising of teens who support them have been mind-boggling to me. Especially since they have all been from adults. Things like:
“These kids are spoiled brats.”
“What a bunch of babies!”
“They are being paid by anti-gun lobbies to be victims.”
“Their parents just need to give them an ass whipping.”
And when the kids laid down in protest in Washington, I saw someone comment, “Where’s a car bomber when you need one?”
I’ll stop there.
Like I said it’s been mind-boggling to me. I truly do not understand. I don’t care what your stance is on gun control or politics…these are children. Children who have gone through a horrific ordeal. Since I have been seeing so many back and forth conversations (or social media fights) about how the gun used isn’t that dangerous or yes it is dangerous, I decided to look up the gun that was used. I checked several sources and this is what I found in regards to what the gun used in this particular shooting does to the body (source quoted):
ALL GUNS CAN kill, but they do not kill equally.
Compare the damage an AR-15 and a 9mm handgun can do to the human body: “One looks like a grenade went off in there,” says Peter Rhee, a trauma surgeon at the University of Arizona. “The other looks like a bad knife cut.”
A bullet with more energy can do more damage. Its total kinetic energy is equal to one-half the mass of the bullet times its velocity squared. The bullet from a handgun is—as absurd as it may sound—slow compared to that from an AR-15. It can be stopped by the thick bone of the upper leg. It might pass through the body, only to become lodged in skin, which is surprisingly elastic.
The bullet from an AR-15 does an entirely different kind of violence to the human body. It’s relatively small, but it leaves the muzzle at three times the speed of a handgun bullet. It has so much energy that it can disintegrate three inches of leg bone. “It would just turn it to dust,” says Donald Jenkins, a trauma surgeon at University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. If it hits the liver, “the liver looks like a jello mold that’s been dropped on the floor.” And the exit wound can be a nasty, jagged hole the size of an orange.
These high-velocity bullets can damage flesh inches away from their path, either because they fragment or because they cause something called cavitation. When you trail your fingers through water, the water ripples and curls. When a high-velocity bullet pierces the body, human tissues ripples as well—but much more violently. The bullet from an AR-15 might miss the femoral artery in the leg, but cavitation may burst the artery anyway, causing death by blood loss. A swath of stretched and torn tissue around the wound may die. That’s why, says Rhee, a handgun wound might require only one surgery but an AR-15 bullet wound might require three to ten.
So toughen up buttercup and get your butt back to school. Nothing needs to change…you are just fine.
Maybe these people making these comments have never been through a tragic event. It never totally leaves you and you never know what may trigger a reaction. You can better believe that when I get a bad headache, and I get them often, I am reminded of my mom dying suddenly from a brain aneurysm. It freaks me out a little. What these kids experienced and saw is horrifying. Something that they will never un-see. Sounds they will never un-hear. Friends they will never see again. Not to mention survivors guilt. Can we have a little compassion for Pete’s sake?! Would you say the things you type on social media to their faces…to their parent’s faces? To the faces of the parents who lost children?
If speaking out for gun safety empowers them, I say more power to them. If demanding something is done makes them feel like their friends didn’t die in vain, I say demand away. If laying down in front of the White House helps them feel like they are doing something to make a difference, I say I’ll lay down with them. I don’t know these kids. But I can put myself in their shoes, and I can have empathy for what they are going through. Parents shouldn’t have to buy their children bulletproof backpacks. They sell those now. How sad is that?
Let’s put aside all the political bullcrap and say:
“I hear you, I see you, and I’m sorry you live in a world where this is your reality.”
And then tell them that you love them.
Because love matters…