Men Behaving Badly (PG13)

When a former teacher suggested I turn my random Facebook snark into a blog, her only request was that I “not get political”.  I hope this does not come as a disappointment to her, but I feel this needs to be said.

Our current administration has spawned an outbreak of grown men behaving badly.

Through my employment, I get to observe people professionally.  In my experience, there is a clean cut date and time when my (and most likely other retailers) experience shifted from the occasional disgruntled middle age female “I’d like to see your manager – haircut” (No joke.  It’s a thing.  Look it up.) to the angry, acting out, grown man.  “Men Behaving Badly”.

Our current administration warmed America up with salacious behavior.  Scandalous claims of the treatment of women.  Hostility to those of immigrant heritage.  Making fun of the disabled.  General dislike for those considered lower then themselves. Denigration of intelligence as something elitist or pompous.    On the date of inauguration, a number of men (who likely held those desires and beliefs already) took on those reigns with a fervor.  The President’s mindset, his behavior, made it acceptable for those men to wear the asshat.

In addition to being spat on, cursed, threatened, and generally berated as a ‘stupid woman’, I have had men ask for a male manager and suggest that I must have earned my job through sexual favors.  “Are you a manager?  Who’d you blow to get that job?”  I wish I was joking.

Not only have my female staff been treated more harshly, my female customers have experienced mistreatment from older male customers.  A few months ago an older man cut line one evening.  The lady he stepped in front of (with her child) told him there was a line.  He turned and yelled “Then I guess you won’t mind waiting in it, bitch.”  He proceeded to yell, curse, berate, and generally behave badly.  She, the young lady, was a combat wounded veteran.  He was a man with no respect for a woman.

A man asked me about a product.  I indicated that, although I wish we could help, the product he wanted to use was not chemically appropriate for the situation he wanted to use it for.  He snarled, “You think you know something about something.”

Another manager in my store declined a man’s return.  He had no receipt.  It was high dollar.  She was abiding by the return policy we have in place.  He waited in his car until she went outside, then he jumped out and charged at her.  Thankfully he chose to use his body, not his car.  Thankfully two much younger men were near by.  They took him down forcefully and the police were called.

There are more examples, including inappropriate physical grabs and swats.  I could go on and on…but that doesn’t change any of it.

This type of stuff didn’t happen 2 years ago.  Yes, people would get frustrated.  Someone might raise their voice or use the occasional profanity.  Someone might actually call customer service to complain.  No one acted out physically.  No one picked a fight with another customer.  Times have certainly changed…Maybe it’s not his fault.  Maybe this behavior was always latent.  Maybe it’s just a coincidence, but it seems incredibly coincidental.

Leadership is the example for the masses…and so it seems to be.

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Drive-by Zucchini-ing

It’s the time of year when the labor of love (that made my neighbors think I was growing weed in the basement) comes to literal fruition.  Fresh green beans for dinner every night.  Cucumbers, still warm from picking, with a dash of salt.  Peppers and lettuces in any color you can imagine.  Tomatoes for days…canned with the same tools our grandmothers used…..and zucchini.

Zucchini…the gift that just keeps giving.  Drought, violent storms, flood, meteor showers…and more zucchini.  The ‘not husband’ likes his zukes sauteed, fried, with noodles, on pizza, even pickled in relish.  The only use I find for it is bread. (A mightily delicious recipe that I will include at the end with all the culinary perversions I have attempted with it.)

Every waxy green zuke I cut from it’s prickly stem brings me a giggle.  My family, you see, had one very zucchini year.  (Zucchini as an adjective – indeed.)  There were three of us kids.  I was around ten and the twins were around five.  Someone at church gave us some seeds, telling us they were cucumbers.  We were so excited that we talked momma into giving us one entire row of the garden.  We would have fresh cucumbers, and all the pickles we could eat.  Carefully we planted the mounds and waited patiently….leaves emerged, followed by flowers…and something that was NOT a cucumber.  Quite quickly we were inundated with zucchini that none of us ate, so we gave it away.  We took boxes to church.  We gave bags to neighbors.  We did drive by zucchini-ing, leaving bags on porches.  We had so many zucchini that we started leaving them in people’s cars at church…until people started locking their car doors.  It seems that even when it’s free, there’s only so much zucchini a person (or several dozen people) can tolerate.  Finally defeated, we chopped them and fed them to the cows.  By the end of the summer the cows would follow me for the entire fenced length of my parents’ yard.

Lesson learned.  Cucumber seeds are either purchased in bags that say ‘cucumber’ or they are saved from cucumbers you grow, but never trust a zucchini fairy in disguise.

As promised, here’s the bread recipe.  You may as well plan on doubling or even tripling it because really, who just has 1 cup of zucchini??

Lemon Glazed  Lemon-Zucchini Bread
2 cups flour (I use 1/2 plain white and half whatever else -including coconut or oatmeal flours)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil (olive, canola, vegetable, avocado, etc)
1.5 cups sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice (pulp and all – fresh is best)
1/2 cup milk (coconut, soy, or almond milk works fine)
zest of 1 lemon
1 cup grated zucchini (cheese shredder gets it done, peels and all)

For fun – toss in some blueberries or strawberries.  Cooking is fun.  Bwahaha!!

Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice (throw in some zest too)
1 tablespoon milk (I just use more lemon juice)
Okay let’s get crazy…add cream cheese to this and make this bad boy some icing!!)

Mix unceremoniously (the recipe actually states an order but psh!!) and pour into a bread or cake pan.  Bake 35 min (cake pan) to 45 min (bread pan) at 350 or until a knife comes out clean