Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The Ripple Effect

This thing with Marion Jones having to return her medal has more consequences then had originally occurred to me. Now they are talking about her relay team and how those other team members may have to return their medals as well. That makes me sad. All that theoretically legitimate hard work gone to waste because someone else cheated. Hardly seems fair.

And what happens to these returned gold medals? Do they get passed down the line like the tiara from a tainted beauty queen? Silver is now Gold, Bronze is now Silver, dude that came in 4th is now Bronze?

During the Infamous Southern Denver Yarn Crawl ,when we stopped to have lunch, Nake-id Knits said something very nice to me. She said she couldn't understand why I was working at Target, it seemed such a waste of talent. (Have you ever heard such a lovely compliment?) I explained that unless you were on a management level, everyone working there was a waste of some kind of talent. There's nothing wrong with Target, it's a good honest job. Even so, working there isn't particularly a first choice for most people.

There's J - her husband worked at a company most of his adult life and they were living comfortably (if a bit tightly) off of his pension when he retired. Well said company f'ed up the pension and it disappeared. Now she works full time at age 65 because they need the benefits and the money. He's gone to work, too but has health issues and can't work as much.

There's all the kids who are at Target for summer jobs or to help put themselves through school.

And then there's K. 2 years ago, her husband was caught in a sting much like the To Catch a Predator series only with no cameras. This man was a high school softball coach and went to a house thinking he was going to hook up with a 14 year old girl. I watched the "Predator" show all the time and I never really thought about these guys having families. Yea, some of them had wives but I didn't think of how they might have kids, too. Or how getting caught would effect their wives accept to start divorce proceedings.

K's entire life savings got eaten up along with her husband's savings when it had to be used for his defense. He's now a registered sex offender and can't even call his daughter's house because she has small children there (not that they want to talk to him, yet). He lost his job and most of their friends and K had to live with the suspicion of everyone in town, "How much did she know?" She didn't know any of it. She knew he was spending a lot of time online but had no idea what he was doing there. She never even suspected. Why would she? Would you? As soon as court matters were done, K divorced him and moved to Colorado.

This man got caught 6 weeks before his other daughter's wedding. He was able to go but it made everything really tense and weird when it should've been her happiest day.

K and I met at Target. She has to work to help with her living expenses (she's also around 65). She gets some alimony from him but it ain't much. As a registered sex offender, he has a hard time getting a job. Or housing.

She asked me to teach her to knit and she came to my house to learn. She opened up to me with all this and I really felt for her. (That was a couple of months ago and she's given me permission to write about it.) She says she feels so stupid about it - like she should've known about him somehow - but I asked her, "Why? If you had no idea.. I mean why would you ever think that about someone you've known and loved for over 30 years??" I was at K's house, giving her another lesson when the phone rang. It was him. Yes, she still has to deal with him. They still have money tied up together (IRA's, 401k's and such) and even thought their kids are adults, she's got to deal with him for the rest of her life.

Talk about ripple effect. It's so sad.

Things I do effect everyone around me. And actions of others effect me. It's all a crap shoot, but it makes me think twice about my actions.

Still not tip-toeing, Ruth!


Diane said...

I love this post. Isn't it funny how you never know where the ripples in your life will take you?

Tammy said...

I heard some where that the silver winner in one of the races was already caught in a drug scandal. I think it's really sad for all of the people who worked so hard to run an honest race and lost their moment in the spotlight because of a few cheaters. Although chances are that Marion could've done it without the drugs anyway. Too bad she blew it.

Faith! said...

Thanks for a poignant and insightful post. I finished reading it and immediately thought "Now this is why I read these things."

Susan said...

Wonderful post. You never know how you're actions can effect those around you.

kmkat said...

Another thoughtful and insightful post. There are so many things in the world that are big problems for the folks involved and the rest of us have no idea. Thanks for writing. (Every time I scrub my feet in the shower now I remember your post about getting cleaned up for a massage. I always scrub my feet, anyway, but I still chuckle about how letting the shower water run over them just Isn't Good Enough.)