I’m honestly OK with reading that some people are finding something beneficial about Obamacare…really. I didn’t vote for Obama…not the first time and naturally, not the second time. I think Obama is one of the worst presidents since Jimmy Carter. It is just MY opinion, of course. I don’t try to force anyone to my point of view about anything…well almost. I do push, on occassion, exercise. Still, I find trying to rally someone closer to my point of view on just about anything is almost always an exercise in futility, so I let sleeping dogs lie and I happily move on.

Having said that, it is positively lovely when you meet someone who shares some, if not most, of your values or viewpoints. It’s nice to have one’s view points or moral code validated (don’t you think?)…and, even better, through discussion, someone who can bring a brighter clarity or insight to one’s thoughts and feelings on a particular subject through a different set of lens. Life would be awully boring if we agreed on everything! But what about when someone you thought was fairly like-minded says something that throws a monkey-wrench into your world view? Do you turn your back on them and run for the hills, metaphorically speaking, of course. Do you unfriend them on Facebook and run their Christmas photo card through the shredder? Seems drastic, and sophmoric…I know. Do you just say nothing and keep up a certain facade or do you fire back with an uber articulate one-line zinger that’s sure to change their minds completely (I know. Totally unrealistic. That only happens in the movies)….Or do you ever so slowly distance yourself from the relationship?

Many would answer, “It depends,” and they’d be right. Life is complicated. We’re human…we are not meant to live like an island. Simply put, we need each other, “warts and all”… differences and similiarities… to muddle through the good and the bad in this crazy world, and whatever lies in between.

So, the sensible thing to do, of course, to is file the “offensive” or thought-provoking comment away in the back of your mind under “Bless her (or his) heart…they know not what they say” and leave it at that.

What brings on this little potentially blossoming friendsip crisis you’re asking? At the risk of losing one (or more) of my five followers…. here goes…..

During a recent holiday get-together a new-found cycling friend was detailing her experience with signing up for Obama Care. She used a few expletives–not unlike many Americans– to highlight her frustration with the web site and in the end she had to spend time on the phone to get the process completed. Now, she fully admits that she is not sure she is officially signed up and will have coverage come January 1, 2014. And, she wasn’t clear on all the aspects of her new insurance coverage but she said she was “thrilled with the price.” She went on to gush that they did not have insurance coverage before because they were self-employed and were unable to get coverage because of “pre-existing conditions, like…being alive.” (I’m quoting here). Really, I was OK with her Obama giddyness….

UNTIL….she said: “I don’t feel bad that other taxpayers are paying for the part we don’t because we volunteer in our community so we are paying it forward.”

Sigh….here we go again….

It’s that entitlement concept that ruffles my feathers. I’m entitled because I volunteer! Give me a cookie damnit because I’ve earned it. Everyone can justifiy getting more because of injuries they suffered…because of volunteering…because of whatever….just fill in the blanks. That’s the root of corruption….. Black and white…no shades of gray.

I’ll contiue to cycle with this gal and have fun too, but her expectations from society are quite different than mine. I’ll no doubt struggle to reconcile this persons’ drive to be a driven cyclist against her financial expectations from others. But as long as she doesn’t get over-zealous with her political rants I’m sure we can enjoy many miles of cycling together.

When I lived in Southern California there were a number of folks that were (and still are) very dear to me, but not necessarily like-minded on the subject of politics. Fortunately we had enough in common in other areas and we almost always had the good sense to keep politics out of our many get-togethers. Why spoil our fun…life is much too short for that, n’est pas? But when that didn’t occur (the first Obama presidential campaign comes to mind) I kept my lip zipped for the most part knowing full well I’d be silenced with sometimes nuanced…and sometimes not….verbal bows and arrows. I’m going on record now folks….I’m a terrible debater! It’s just not in my DNA, mostly because I loathe confrontation of any kind. I don’t handle it well….lots of family baggage to blame I suppose. So, I crumble easily and can dissolve into a puddle of tears when emotions start to escalate.

But my Rocket-man? He’s an animal in the debating department. That analytical, linear thinking, mensa brain of his doesn’t miss a beat. I tell him often that he should be on T.V. as a regular political pundit. He pulls stuff out of this enormous filing cabinet in his brain without blinking an eye. No doubt his amygdala and hypothalamus are literally bursting at the seems with a gazillion pathways and connections! I cannot keep up with him and trust me, I gave up trying years ago. That would be on one of our first long training runs together weeks after meeting when I made the mistake of asking him about the subject of his PhD. dissertation. My eyes glazed over in two seconds flat. He appeared not to notice my deer-in-the-headlights look and droned on and on, bless his heart, until I put my hands up in surrender. “No need to go into detail,” I said. Yes….fifteen years later my eyes still glaze over, unless of course the subject matter pertains to cooking, fashion, or changing a baby’s diaper. AH HA…. I gloat like an elementary school girl…I’ve got him there!

The older I get, the more small victories mean everything to me!