In The Spotlight
When we go to a restaurant that serves buffet-style my husband always takes extra food on purpose to take home with us.
He says it’s okay because we are paying for “all you can eat.” I say “all you eat” means “all you can eat while you are here (in the restaurant).”
Queenie, is he right or am I?—Buffet Etty Ket
Dear Etty Ket,
Why even bother at this time to write about the qualifications of a parliamentarian, when the next parliamentary election is all the way in 2020? Sadly, this has been the mentality in the past that has led us to vote for persons, based on friendship, family ties and family tradition, instead of looking at the qualifications, qualities and experience of the candidates.
One of the reasons we have not paid much attention to the qualifications of parliamentarians, is because during election time, our politicians campaign as if they were running to become ministers in government. However, they failed to point out the difference and the separation between parliament and government. To summarize, the people elect the parliamentarians, and the parliamentarians in turn appoint the ministers. Therefore, if we want a good Council of Ministers, we must vote for noble, qualified parliamentarians, who would ensure that we get a good government.
Besides the four criteria for parliamentarians listed in the Constitution, parties, as well as the people should hold candidates to a high standard. Article 49 of our Constitution states that to “be eligible for membership of Parliament, a person must be a resident of Sint Maarten, a Dutch national, have attained the age of eighteen years, and must not have been disqualified from voting”. As far as the age is concerned, a person can be on a party’s slate at age 17; as long as he/she turns 18 by the time the oath has to be taken.
Based on the Constitution, anyone with the Dutch nationality can become a parliamentarian in Sint Maarten. In this regard, it is interesting to note that the constitutions of neighbouring countries like St Kitts and Nevis, the Commonwealth of Dominica and the Territory of Anguilla clearly stipulate that to be elected, persons must be connected to the country or territory by birth or descent. If such a criterion were applied in Sint Maarten, many persons would not be eligible to become members of parliament, including myself, as well as several of our current MPs. Revising the nationality article will require a constitutional amendment, which needs the approval of the other countries of the kingdom.
The criterion “must not have been disqualified from voting” relates to the final verdict of a court of law. In other words, once the court case of a prospective parliamentarian is still in appeal he/she has all rights to join a party or to establish a party. The prospective parliamentarian also has the right to campaign, to be elected, to take the oath of office and to function as a member of parliament until he/she receives the final guilty verdict.
This is the reason MP Silvio Matser is still functioning as a Member of Parliament. Even though the Court in First Instance, as well as the Joint Court of Justice found him guilty of tax evasion, he has appealed the case at the High Court in The Hague and consequently has the right to function as a parliamentarian until he receives the final judgement from the latter court. We may not agree with the law, but we must abide by it.
In addition to the constitutional criteria mentioned earlier, it is important that we also evaluate prospective parliamentarians based on several other qualifications, such as love for Sint Maarten, Dutch language skills and integrity. If persons have a love for Sint Maarten, it will show in their involvement in the community. They will be engaged, in one way or another, in trying to better the society. Their motive for getting in politics would be for the sake and the good of the people, and not for personal gain. They should ascribe to, and live by, the principles of integrity, transparency, accountability, and love for the country.
How many of the 125 candidates who took part in the 2016 elections are still visible and active today? Even many of them, who have been elected to parliament, often do not see the need to represent us as we expect them to. One parliamentarian has not attended parliamentary meetings in months. At times, several of our parliamentarians have refused to attend meetings. Not too long ago, the minority faction in parliament even declined to represent us at a high-level kingdom meeting. This is really not the kind of representation we expect from our parliamentarians!
As far as Dutch language skills are concerned, it is important that prospective parliamentarians have at least a working knowledge of the Dutch language. It is interesting to note that the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Dominica includes a language qualification stating that to be qualified to be elected, a person must be able to speak and read the English language. Admittedly, Sint Maarten’s constitutional and judicial systems are very much embedded in the Dutch system. It is obvious that Dutch supersedes the English language, when we read the disclaimer at the bottom of each page of a translated law: “No rights can be derived from the English translation”.
The SMCP believes that if voters take the additional qualifications into serious consideration when electing parliamentarians, Sint Maarten would have a stronger, better qualified, integrity-based parliament, which in turn would appoint ministers to the Council of Ministers, based on their professional, experiential and ethical qualifications.
Leader of the Sint Maarten Christian Party
I say it’s rude to start watching TV when you have company. My husband says it’s okay if the TV is on when the guests arrive.
Queenie, who is right?—TV Etty Ket
Dear Etty Ket,
Unless the guests were specifically invited to come to watch some special event on TV with you, it is rude to turn on the TV when you have guests, because it tells them the TV is more important than they are. And if the TV is already on when they arrive, the polite thing to do is to turn it off so you can visit with them undistracted – unless, as said, they were invited for the purpose of watching TV together with you.
There are not enough words for me to use to describe what Roger Snow has meant to me and my family. There are not enough ways for me to express gratitude to the man who literally saved my life. I say this without any reservation or hesitation. Roger Snow saved my life.
To Mary, Gordon, Hanneke, Dickie, Jelmer, Paul, Steven, Junior and the rest of the family I extend deepest condolences on behalf of my family. I am truly sorry that I am away at this time but please know that Roger meant the world to me and I will miss him dearly. It was not easy the last few years watching illness deprive us of the Roger we knew. He can now rest on.
I met Roger in January of 1995 when I was at a crossroad in my life, totally unsure what to do with my future. I was jobless, spiraling into depression and a feeling of complete failure was drowning me. By God’s will an opportunity opened in the night layout department at the then infant Daily Herald. Not expecting much, I viewed it as another temporary job that I would soon leave. As history would attest, however, I didn’t leave soon at all. In fact, I’m still there in some shape or form, 22 years later.
I stuck around because Roger Snow, this impressive, compassionate, witty, unselfish human being made it his business to make me understand and appreciate that my life had worth. He didn’t care what my background was, he only cared that I remain constructively active by involving myself in all aspects of newspaper operations, and with his assistance and influence become a solid citizen and contributor in my community.
He afforded me the opportunity serve as layout artist, graphic artist, night editor and journalist at The Daily Herald. He founded Teen Times, not me, I only had the privilege to guide and develop what he called “Herald’s contribution to the youth of St. Maarten.” From Teen Times to serving on more than 10 community and cultural organizations, to starting my own PR company and all the accolades in between … it all started with Roger Snow. Had he not saved me and given me a chance, none of that would have been possible and God knows where I would have been today.
He was a giant of a man in stature and character. But make no mistake, he was not always a gentle giant and with good reason. There were times he dished out some tough love. Some very tough love. He never sugarcoated anything for me as I was typically extremely stubborn and headstrong. He would often yell “Mike! You are wrong! Get over yourself!” and then proceed to give me the verbal dressing down that I deserved.
One of our “discussions” became so heated in our little office on Front Street, I started to cry. A grown man, I broke down in front of another grown man like a baby. I wasn’t crying because I was hurt or insulted or upset. Tears ran because I wanted so much to impress that man. I hated letting him down. In typical Roger style, he never let you stay down, he found a way to lift you back up.
You know a person has influenced your life positively when you can remember almost everything he has ever told you. Roger’s words have stuck with me throughout my life and I still live by them. He often shared those words while taking a puff on his pipe on our office porch in Philipsburg when electricity went and we didn’t have a generator, or when we were waiting on film to develop, or when we took a break from laying out the paper together which we often did side-by-side. Even in those dark days after Hurricane Luis when we finished work at 7:00 in the morning and he had to drive all of us home.
He cared about my family and my activities. He cared about my general knowledge and saw to it that I was educated in the ways of journalism, human nature, politics, life. He was steadfast in his belief that the newspaper plays a vital role in the community and never allowed me to forget for whom and why we produce The Daily Herald.
Many people have asked me over the years why I’ve stayed loyal or maintained a strong link with The Daily Herald. My answer has never changed: because Roger Snow saved my life. I remained loyal to him, to a friend and mentor.
I will miss my friend and mentor dearly.
My father went away to college after he got my mother pregnant and after he graduated he got a job in the United States and she never heard from him again.
Now I’m all grown up and married with children and he’s retired and he’s come back here to live and all of a sudden he wants to make up for lost time and get to know me and his grandkids.
Queenie, he didn’t care anything about me when I was growing up but now he expects me to be a loving son. How do I get him to just leave me alone like he has always done?—Not interested
Dear Not interested,
Tell him what you have told me. Repeat as often and as emphatically as necessary. However, you first might want to listen to his version of why he never kept in touch with you and your mother. You might learn something interesting, something that might change your poor opinion of him.
On the occasion of the passing of Mr. Roger Snow, please accept my most sincere regrets and condolences; you and to all of those who work at The Daily Herald. As I wrote in my little book a while back, “Saint Martin ─the entire island─ owes an ocean of gratitude to Mary Hellmund and to Roger Snow. This by reason of the singular role this industrious and enlightened couple played in journalism on the island for roughly one quarter of a century.” That was writing-speaking as if that role was in that past alone, but we (you and I, and a lot of others) know that it is in our present, and shall be with us in our future ─ forever!
Gérard M. Hunt
My son is what they call a chain-smoker and a careless one. He drops cigarette ash everywhere and there are burn holes in some of his clothes and his furniture. What’s worse is that he and his wife have small children and he smokes around them.
I’m worried that – God forbid! – he might start a fire or he will get cancer or lung disease from smoking and that the smoke might make his wife and their children sick too.
Queenie, is there anything I can do?—Worried mother
Have you talked to your son about your fears? If not, do so at once – for all the good it may do, because smoking is a very difficult addiction to break. However, there are many effective aids for those who want to break this habit. If he is willing to try, your son should consult his family doctor for suggestions.
And have a serious talk with your daughter-in-law too. As you say, her health and that of her children is also at risk and if your son is willing to make the effort to stop smoking her help and support could make the difference between
An alternative suggestion for the associated problems with the jet blast and the entrance to Beacon Hill, is to build the previously discussed boardwalk. Properly designed, it could eliminate or substantially reduce the on again off again tidal wave of sand that virtually closes off the only entrance to Beacon Hill; provide the Jet Blasters with a safe distance to enjoy their experience, with the only danger being blown into the ocean; create a safe walkway for pedestrians versus their current balancing act on the low concrete curb or roadway; allow benches for enjoying the sunset and plane arrivals; and still provide a beach which could be protected from erosion with the addition of a floating breakwater.
This is not an original idea, as I believe Mr. Rudy Engel and others have brought it up to various Ministers over the years, but with the most recent tragic and avoidable accident that occurred recently time is of the essence to come up with a viable solution to a problem that won't go away on its own.
My boyfriend and I have been together for a long time and we have a child together and are planning on getting married.
A while ago we had some problems and separated for a while. During the time we were separated I dated another guy even though my boyfriend and I were still very much in touch.
Eventually my boyfriend and I worked out our problems and got back together and I stopped seeing the other guy, but now my boyfriend doesn’t trust me that I only want to be with him. He checks up on me all the time and we fight a lot about this.
I have told him I wouldn’t have agreed to get married if I wasn’t going to be faithful to him, and he says he loves me with all his heart, but still he has a problem trusting me and I don’t want to live like this forever.
Queenie, should I marry him and hope things will get better?—Distrusted
I suggest you make your engagement a long one – long enough to give your fiancé enough time to rebuild his trust in your ability to remain faithful to him. And by the way, just what was he doing while the two of you were separated?
Firstly, my deepest condolences to the family of the lady that tragically lost her life last week attempting to “surf the jet blast.” It is hoped that their loss will serve as a reminder to all who have ventured and to those who undoubtedly will venture to participate in this dangerous “sport,” that this can be deadly! Standing on the actual beach sand west of the road according to me will give you the same “rush” and if you get “blown,” you will fall on sand. In a worst case scenario, you may get blown into the Caribbean Sea. So all you Jet Blast Surfers that cannot swim, wear a water life jacket before attempting the jet blast thrill.
I am not a lawyer (obviously) and certainly not an “ambulance chaser,” but for the life of me I cannot understand how anybody else except the adult that engages in the “sport” is responsible for such an accident, taking into consideration all the signs and precautions put in place by the SXM Airport PJIA. Laws should be anchored in our legal framework, but must also be based on common sense, you would think.
Lawyer Kock argues for the removal of concrete blocks that divide the road at the location. This divider was placed on that road back in 2000 when on my request the then Executive Council, of which I was a member at that time, approved a workable and simple plan to prevent selfish airplane/sunset gazers to park on that road, reducing the only access in and out of the busy Beacon Hill community down to a one lane stretch, causing massive traffic jams and creating serious hazards to landing aircraft, as well as for the inhabitants of Beacon Hill in case of a medical emergency, fire or other calamity.
The divider worked and traffic on that piece of road has since then flowed reasonably well, except for when the occasional taxi driver “trolls” the stretch for passengers they hope need to “go back to their cruise ships.” So a divider there is a must. Now, of course I can agree with maybe replacing the concrete divider with say, plastic tubes fitted on rubber bases that cause a division between the two sides of the road, but are flexible to move when something or someone slams into them.
However, knowing how things often work on our beloved island, I guarantee you that such plastic dividing posts will be broken off in less than six months (not all at once), but just like the short white ones on the side of the Route National from the Cole Bay border to St. James, they will disappear, causing the pre-2000 traffic jams in and out of Beacon Hill to resume with greater vigour!
My suggestion for the problem: Let’s consider re-routing all the traffic in and out of Beacon Hill along the south fence of the airport, up past Mary’s Boon Hotel and onto the Airport Road; then extending the east west airport fences (both sides of the airport property) all the way to the beach edge west of the present road leading to the Alegria front gate. Allowing for foot traffic on the entire beach, the Jet Blast Surfers will still be able to hold on to the fence, but this fence will now be on the western side of the present road, and those “blown” will end up on sand or in the sea (hopefully with a life jacket on).
Alternatively, before we consider any other tunnel (with all due respect to our Prime Minister’s plan), let’s find the funds to build the most simple viaduct (á la Montserrat new airport access road) and channel regular vehicular traffic underground, plane/sunset gazers onto the beach on foot and fence off the present Beacon Hill Road with a locked gate on either side (North and South), so emergency vehicles can still get in and out of Beacon Hill if need be.
One thing for sure, the spectacular SXM Airport landings are greatly contributing to our Tourism product and that show should go on, albeit that we have a collective responsibility as Government and Private Sector to do all we can to protect us from us.
Michael J. Ferrier
I live with my Mom but my Dad pays for my support and for my cell phone.
My problem is that whenever I visit him my Dad insists on checking out my cell phone to see what’s on it. There’s never anything bad, but he still insists on seeing it.
When I complained that this is an invasion of my privacy he said he wants to see what he is paying for and if I don’t like it I should pay for the cell phone myself.
Queenie, how can I get him to respect my privacy?—Disrespected daughter
You do not say how old you are, but if your father is still paying for your support you must still be in your teens and, because you do not live with him, no doubt he feels the need to exercise some supervision over your behaviour.
He has a point. If you are old enough to demand respect for your privacy, you are old enough to find a way to pay for your cell phone yourself. By doing so, you will demonstrate a reassuring level of maturity and responsibility.
I am a dissident, but the outcome of the elections of last year has proven that there are thousands of dissidents with me, mainly among the voters of the PS party, which I do not belong to. Whiteman, the then Prime Minister of Curaçao, pitched a fastball by way of an election stunt. But it backfired! More than half his voters have turned their backs on him, as became apparent from the outcome of the election.
In his perpetual wisdom, Whiteman has decided - for us, about us, on behalf of us, but without us - that the salvation of the economy of Curaçao lies in an MOU with China, in which he has offered China on a silver platter the control and exploitation of our two most important natural resources, our two deep-sea ports.
Under the pretext of the infamous tunnel vision, i.e. the modernization of Isla refinery, which China is prepared to finance, Whiteman, without any advance broad-based public debate, signed an MOU in which he offered the entire direction of our future economic development platter to a foreign entity in a most rash and thoughtless manner. Not only will China get control over our two deep-sea ports, no, our entire energy chain will also be taken over by China.
China is prepared to invest US $10 billion (or so they say) in our economy, and in the view of most of our “ruling politicians,” we should be very grateful for this. The fact that Curoil, CPA and Aqualectra will be pushed out of the market and will lose their right of existence, is something they conveniently fail to mention.
Where modernization of the refinery alone is concerned, China is prepared to invest 3 to 5 billion USD. The fact that after modernization, 90% of the brand-new refinery will be computer operated, with a required staff of no more than 400, is also something they conveniently fail to mention. Perhaps our politicians can explain to me where lies the rationality of an investment of US $ 3 billion that will unavoidably result in such a loss of jobs, while all political parties so strongly advocate creation of employment.
With the offer to modernize Isla, China has thrown out small-fish bait to catch a really big fish, because the unwavering demand of this investment is that the oil terminal at Bullenbaai is inextricably included in the deal of Isla refinery. However, inextricably connected with the oil terminal and also inextricably connected with Isla are the huge water parcels bordering on the oil terminal and Isla. As such, with the oil terminal and Isla, China also gets control and exploitation of our two deep-sea ports.
What our politicians also conveniently fail to mention is that there is a fully-worked-out plan ready for large scale industrial development of the back country adjacent to the oil terminal at Bullenbaai, where a variety of industrial establishments will be provided with a variety of investors (locally and internationally), which could create tens of thousands of jobs with a risk-spread because of such intended diversification, since Curaçao will then not be dependent on one big foreign investor.
What our politicians also conveniently fail to mention is that this large-scale development of the back country at Bullenbaai will be doomed if Curaçao does not maintain control and operation of the deep-sea port at Bullenbaai itself, because without the deep-sea port to facilitate the development, the latter will be like a still-born child.
One spicy detail, which has also been conveniently left unmentioned by our politicians, is the fact that the large-scale development plan was explained to the Council of Ministers in a Power Point presentation on May 7th of last year, and at which occasion all the ministers had nodded in approval, full of praise for the large-scale development plan under our own control. Nevertheless, the Council of Ministers has deemed it useful, necessary and desirable (please see the National Resolution signed by them) by way of an election stunt during last year’s election campaign, to pull this MOU with the Chinese out of his hat.
And beware she who dares to have a different opinion and propagate this opinion.
Well, the undersigned has had the audacity to disclose her opinion as referred to hereinabove to the public, and therefore she “does no longer fit on the team”. Well, so be it! I am a dissident and I shall remain a dissident. However, the outcome of the elections has proven that with me, there are many thousands of fellow dissidents. What does he mean by the “will of the people”?
Marguérite Nahar (LL.M.)
Kaya Alonso de Ojeda 57
Saliña Harbour View
A friend of mine just broke up with his girlfriend that I have had feelings for her for a long time, so I sent her some flowers and asked her for a date. She thanked me for the flowers, but made some excuse about the date and hasn’t answered my calls or texts since then.
Queenie, how can I get her to give me a chance?—Lovesick
Sending flowers to a girl you have never even dated once is going more than a little bit too far. It seems rather obvious that this girl is not at all interested in you, so give her a break and start looking around for someone else who might reciprocate your feelings for her.
St. Maarten’s justice system is improving very well thanks to all local Justice Ministers, and we have confidence we will get justice done if the Transport Minister will get the buses to run in Middle Region again.
The willingness to the take the Transport Minister to Court still stands, but because she just took office the decision came to give her a chance.
Government must stop turning a blind eye and a deaf ear towards the people of Middle Region; don’t block progress towards Middle Region.
Legalize the “Gypsies” or get them off the street day and night. Middle Region people are travelling on gypsies and 90 per cent of the gypsy vehicles are old. It’s costing Middle Region people US $10.00 to $14.00 per day for only one passenger. It’s not easy; it’s hard!
By 2018, Middle Region should have a proper community centre, post office, gas station, a fire station, offices to pay utilities bills, ATM machines, and low income houses to better serve all the businesses in Dawn Beach and Oyster Pond.
A bridge is urgently needed at the border in Oyster Pond, and it is too dark from the Oyster Pond Border through Princess Heights; please put 20 more lights.
Many thanks to Princess Heights for the containers you all painted, and we are calling on Government again and again to put some asphalt on the hill at Dawn Beach. We cannot walk down or climb it when it rains. Middle Region people and tourist use this road daily driving or for exercise.
There’s this boy I have been friends with since we were in primary school and this last year or so I have fallen in love with him and I think he feels the same way about me, but when I told him how I feel he said it just couldn’t work out because we are going away to college to two different schools in two different countries.
Queenie, is he right or do we have a chance?—Lovelorn
I suspect he is right, but not for the reason he gave you. More than likely he just does not feel the same way about you as you feel about him and he was trying to “let you down easy.”
There is always the chance that “absence will make his heart grow fonder,” but do not depend on that happening. While you are away at college, keep yourself open to new friendships and the possibility of a new romance(s!).
I’m a receptionist in a business office and I also type letters and reports and do other administrative work. People often have to wait a while for the person they came to see and when that happens sometimes instead of moving away and sitting down they stay by my desk and chat.
On July 1st, Parliament went on a four-week recess and will resume on Monday, July 31st. In December/January upcoming, Parliament will also take a two-week recess. I hope that our MPs are aware of the fact that a parliamentary recess is not a holiday, and that they can be called back to work during their recess.
The website of the Dutch Second Chamber or Parliament describes its recess as follows: “During the recess periods, the Second Chamber does not convene. Members of the Chamber can study various files and documents, and prepare themselves for the next session of meetings. Often, they also use the recess period for working visits, field trips and meetings with their constituents throughout the country”.
Note that these are all activities that Dutch MPs are unable to do when parliament is in session, because they are then too busy with meetings of Parliament, Central Committee meetings, Permanent and Ad Hoc Committee meetings. The Dutch Parliament has five recesses during a parliamentary year, which coincide, more or less, with the school vacations. Therefore, many Dutch MPs also take their holidays during the periods of parliamentary recess. However, should any business occur, on which Parliament would need to meet urgently, then parliamentarians know that they are required to break their recess and return to The Hague to attend to the people’s business.
In the days of the Netherlands Antilles, I can understand the Antillean Parliament taking over the Dutch parliamentary recess schedule, because Antillean MPs at the time hailed from six different Island Territories, three of which were located some 565 miles from the seat of Parliament on Curaçao. However, I do not understand the reasoning why fifteen MPs, all living within a radius of a few miles from the House of Parliament, who every other week are given reading and study time and if necessary can interact on a daily basis with their constituents, still get a six-week recess every year. This is clearly a Dutch/Antillean tradition that our Parliament in Sint Maarten has adopted without taking our local context into consideration.
As far as vacation is concerned, the holidays of parliamentarians are regulated by the ordinance covering the vacation of the ministers and the minister plenipotentiary. As a result, a parliamentarian is entitled to six weeks of vacation per year, which apparently is equivalent to their six weeks of recess during the year. The Explanatory Memorandum accompanying the National Ordinance on the remuneration of persons holding political authority (AB 2010, GT no. 9) explains in Article 6 that Members of Parliament “have no holidays, as Parliament has recess periods”. In other words, recess is not a holiday. This would then mean that, separate from the recess periods, MPs would not be able to take holidays, neither would they be entitled to the 6% annual vacation allowance which is now being paid out to them.
During election campaigns, sitting parliamentarians and would-be parliamentarians are very visible as well as vocal in the media on all kinds of issues related to the people and to the community. Beautiful manifestos are disseminated and many promises are made. You also can find these parliamentarians aggressively active in the community, trying to get the people to vote for them. But during the period between elections our parliamentarians seem to forget, maybe even ignore, the people who voted them into office.
In the Netherlands, during the parliamentary recess, members of the Second Chamber also use the time to reconnect with their constituents. As our parliamentarians on Sint Maarten are directly elected by the people, they should make time to remain in touch with the people as well, hear their concerns, be their voice, ensure that legislation is initiated or drafted that benefits the people and the community.
In this context, I want to commend MP George Pantophlet, who, during this parliamentary recess, has taken some time to speak out in the media on the issue of the short-term contract. There are many more issues in the community on which the people would like to hear the views of our parliamentarians.
Do members of parliament have an opinion on the situation taking place at NIPA, where the education of the students seems to be in jeopardy? What about the views of parliamentarians on the Pearl of China and the Chinese tunnel? What do our Parliamentarians think about the Asset Recovery Team and the latest agreement that our Prime Minister made with the Dutch concerning the Integrity Chamber, whereby our Parliament has also been compromised as far as the date is concerned.
In 2015, Parliament was very upset with the then Prime Minister, the Honourable Marcel Gumbs and the Minister of Justice, the Honourable Dennis Richardson, for signing an accord with the Dutch without first consulting with the parliament. Two years later “l’histoire se répète” but thus far we have heard nothing from our parliamentarians concerning this matter.
Since our parliamentarians are so busy during the rest of the year, it would be good if, during their parliamentary recess periods, they can be more visible, more vocal and more interactive with their constituents.
Leader of the Sint Maarten Christian Party
My mother died many years ago and my father died recently and now my brother and I are quarrelling all the time over the settling of his estate – who gets what personal belongings, whether to keep his home and rent it out or just sell it and divide up the proceeds, etc.
Queenie, I hate being on the outs with him. What do you suggest?—Bereaved daughter
Trying to handle such matters while grieving for your father’s passing is apparently more than you and your brother can handle. If your father left a will, be guided by his instructions. If not, hire a lawyer to act as executor of your father’s estate and be guided by his (or her) legal counsel.
This has been getting on my nerves for the last 8 months or so, being surrounded by people who try to convince themselves (and me) that their being different is a handicap compared to people they deem “normal”. Now please explain here what ‘normal’ is. What is the norm for normality, do tell me what the insane notion that entails such a thing as “normal” must consist.
Curiously looking into the dictionary, (Merriam-Webster, btw my fave) one of the definitions of “normal”(if you can state or describe exactly the nature of this word, so fleeting in its obscure essence as such) mentions a “normal individual” as a person of an average development and intelligence. Wow, hold it there! I for one certainly do not strive for that particularly dismal objective! To be of an average in any which way or for that bland goal simply to obtain the nirvana of “normal”….. You have got to be kidding me!
OK, my “normals” are actually facts, for instance the fact that the original kilogram is kept under guard in Sèvre, France, as a norm of a standard kilogram. Even so, to my disappointment, there is no more such thing since the original artefact has dwindled in its environmental demise to minus 50 milligrams less the original kilogram. Sadly, even facts cannot be measured to normalcy. Bad example, maybe not.
So here we go with the self-pitying mantra, “I always felt different”, well duh, maybe because there is no one like you ever and will never be. No wonder you are different! Even identical twins are different. So does that mentioning of their feeling “different”, enables the free fall for all actions on their behalf not perceived “normal”? By whom? The so-called averagely boring “normal” persons? I wonder.
Embrace your uniqueness and comparing is an obsolete void into nothingness. Normal is different since there is no such normal to everyone else’s different.