Zords Combine: Special Guest Blog

{Aside from Andy, she’s probably the person whose presence is most prominent in my life, and on this blog. As such, it is fitting that she finally gets to come out from behind the velvet curtain and say a few words, as only she could. Though she’s appeared here numerous times, and is all over my FaceBook page, Suzie Ko has largely remained a mysterious enigma, an elusive entity who can cut me down like nobody’s business because she is one of the only people who has the background and history to make it count. She has known me longer than almost anyone other than my parents – hell, she was around before my brother was around. And being just two months older than me, she’s been an older-sister figure, a guide and protector whenever I needed it most (which was almost all of the time.) Our time together is rich with memories, from the earliest Mary Poppins moments to family connections to weddings to Harold & Maude and Auntie Mame. We survived gale-like winds on the deck of a cruise ship – in gauze no less – and lived to tell the taleAnyway, now I’m rambling, and that’s really her territory, so without further ado, here she is ~ the amazing Suzie Ko.}


By Suzie Ko

I’m rusty. I haven’t written anything like this in years. But I guess that I can imagine that I am expounding upon an email, a text, sitting here at the kitchen table after 2 cups of coffee and a mug of soup, some rice, bread with avocado and cucumbers. Our dear host will be horrified to read this as he considers our latest texts. Warning: I am a rambler. My husband just gives me an exasperated look now as I leave other people long rambling voicemails, it’s my schtick.

I’m 39. And this is my first blog entry ever. I’ve got a spouse, a couple kids and a jobby job. I think that I live a typical, middle class, middle aged existence. Is this when people start having a midlife crisis? I don’t know if it’s going to happen. I had enough boo-hooing, figuring out who was a jerk and who was sincere and what-kind-of-person-am-I?! in my early 20’s. Since then, I’ve seen a lot of other people suffering with real-life health problems both physical and psychological to feel guilty about lingering too long on myself. The boo-hooing is now at a minimum and usually only triggered by hormonal shifts. But with all the things that I feel like I have figured out, I still wonder why people are such assholes to each other. And I think about it on a daily basis. Like how I imagine other people think about what to make for dinner tonight, which I also consider, so you can imagine how busy my brain is ALL THE TIME.

I don’t really think anyone is a jerk anymore. I think that people act like jerks or do damaging things because they have had either a lack or excess of something in their lives. Lack of kindness, excess of abuse, lack of love, excess of tragedy, lack of empathy, excess of fear, lack of balance, excess of privilege. But I actually think that most of the time people do the crazy shit that they do because of some level of loneliness or isolation. Having moved away from where I had lived for 16 years of my formative years, where most of my college pals settled, where I lived in a neighborhood made up of like-minded people. Now, my days are spent with great, kind, caring, interesting people. But people who think very differently than I do. Everything is gray to me, it feels like everyone else sees things as black and white. The contrast is blinding sometimes (I had to). You’re good or bad, compliant or noncompliant, you’re in or you’re out. It’s challenging to my gray soul and makes me sad sometimes when someone who needs to be “in” is moved “out.” Now, I can’t see myself going on a bender and doing all the drugs that I never did in my 20s, but I can imagine how it could happen when isolation and loneliness are what you feel. And unfortunately it’s like pain, it’s completely subjective.

Recent conversations with my kids have been about Power Ranger Power Zords combined with lunch counter sit-ins.

We exclude people all the time in our society. We determine who is worth quality health care, a second chance, an opportunity, a seat at the lunch counter and who is not. We make snap judgments about who gets a minute of our time based on how people speak, how they dress, how they smell. We shortchange ourselves all the time! (Why did you turn down such a GREAT union, Amsterdam nurses, ARGH?!)

I’m starting to have meaningful conversations with my kids. Usually evenings are too frenetic when things need to get done like time to decompress/tv, homework, dinner, showers, read then hurry up and go to sleep. But sometimes we have conversations that I hope they remember. Why we have to consider other people, their experiences or lack-there-of, why it’s important to band together (ZORDS COMBINE!). Why things aren’t always black and white.

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